Washington fans will be crushed by latest reports about Kalen DeBoer

ESPN reports that Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer is negotiating a contract to be Nick Saban's successor at Alabama.
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer walks on the sideline.
Jan 8, 2024; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer walks on the sideline. / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: The news is now official. Coach DeBoer is going to Alabama, per ESPN's Chris Low

Washington's Kalen DeBoer, who took the Huskies to the promised land of the College Football Playoff, a run that ended with a National Championship appearance, is reportedly negotiating a contract to become Alabama's next head coach, sources tell ESPN. With the news of multiple players moving on to the NFL draft as well, this development will just be a gut punch to Husky fans everywhere.

The 49-year-old head coach, if the deal gets finalized, will take over one of the hottest jobs in college football. Since Nick Saban announced his retirement on Wednesday, DeBoer's name has headlined lists of candidates for the position along with Dan Lanning, Dabo Swinney, and Mike Norvell.

Washington's athletic director Troy Dannen tried to keep DeBoer in Washington with an extension that would have made him one of the top ten highest-paid coaches in the FBS. However, as long as everything is finalized, DeBoer will take over a program that won nine SEC titles and six national championships under Saban.

DeBoer went 25-3 in his two seasons at Washington, with a 15-2 record in the Pac-12 and a 2-1 bowl game record. In the 2023 season, the Huskies went undefeated with highlight wins over Oregon, both at home and in the Pac-12 championship, USC, Utah, and Oregon State. He has been a favorite for the Alabama position after taking over a program that went 4-8 in 2021 and turning it into a silent powerhouse in college football.

DeBoer will have a buyout of $12 million, he signed a contract extension in November to stay in Washington till 2028. However, it seems the allure of Tuscaloosa, the fertile recruiting grounds of Alabama, and the opportunity to succeed Nick Saban was too good to pass up.