Alabama offensive coordinator Tommy Reese, Florida State coach Mike Norvell and Washington coach Calen DeBoer have emerged as the top three candidates for the Alabama coaching position left vacant by Nick Saban's retirement, say multiple sources familiar with the process. The athlete. Meetings with Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne are expected to be completed by the end of Thursday and an announcement could be made Friday, sources said.
Reese (31 years old) completed his first season at Alabama in 2023. He previously coached at Notre Dame from 2017 to 2022 as the quarterbacks coach from 2017 to 2019, and then in the following three seasons as offensive coordinator. One of the youngest assistants of the Saban era, Reese oversaw a turnaround in Alabama's 2023 offense that saw quarterback Jalen Milroe emerge as a household name entering the 2024 season.
Norvell, who did a fantastic job rebuilding the Seminoles, only got $4 million. He took over a struggling program, and in four seasons went from three wins, to five wins, to 10 wins, and was on the brink of the playoffs, going 13-1. The 42-year-old Texan, like DeBoer, has never coached in the SEC. But Norvell has shown he has an excellent understanding of the transfer portal and could be an interesting fit for the Tide. On Thursday, Norvell celebrated on social media the addition of Alabama offensive lineman Terrence Ferguson II from the NCAA transfer portal.
DeBoer has done a great job over two seasons in Seattle. He took over a 4-8 team two years ago and led them to the national title game this season. The 49-year-old DeBoer, who won three NAIA national titles in Sioux Falls, has an impressive career record of 104-12. Over the past two years, the Huskies have gone 10-1 against top 25 teams. DeBoer is 12-2 all-time against ranked opponents.
“As head coaches, we all talk about balance right now, but he just lives it,” Washington State coach Jake Dickert said. The athlete last week. “He's so great, so collected. He's able to stay in every moment and keep pushing through it. Whether it's right, wrong or indifferent, he proves that coaching is really important because most of the players on that roster were now on a 4-8 team before Two years — and I know (quarterback Michael) Penix wasn't there, but almost all the other guys were still there. What he did to turn those guys around is unbelievable. I know he's respected by the entire coaching world.”
The South Dakota native is a great builder of offensive mind and culture. He loves it in Washington, and his daughter will be a freshman on the Huskies softball team next year. He has never worked in the SEC, which may give some at Alabama pause as this league is viewed as a different animal, but DeBoer recently hired Jimmy Sexton, the same agent for Saban and many of the SEC's coaches. Bama's opening could lead to Sexton negotiating big raises for other coaches.
“Beer enthusiast. Subtly charming alcohol junkie. Wannabe internet buff. Typical pop culture lover.”