Sources – Washington's DeBoer in talks for Bama head coaching job

Washington's Cullen DeBoer, who led the Huskies to the Pac-12 championship and a berth in the College Football Playoff national championship game last season, is negotiating a deal to replace Alabama's Nick Saban, sources told ESPN on Friday.

If a deal goes through, DeBoer, 49, would replace Saban, who won nine SEC titles and six national championships in his 17 seasons, with one of the most coveted jobs in college football — and one of the toughest. That school. Saban retired Wednesday after a 206-29 record at Alabama.

Washington athletic director Troy Dannon has made an aggressive pitch to retain DeBoer, sources told ESPN's Pete Thamel, that would make him one of the 10 highest-paid coaches in the FBS and more than double his current annual salary of $4.2 million. .

If DeBoer leaves, Washington will have a $12 million buyout. He signed a two-year contract extension in November through the 2028 season.

Debor has emerged as the Crimson Tide's top target, with three candidates — Oregon's Don Lanning, Florida State's Mike Norvell and Texas' Steve Sarkisian — dropping out of the search and confirming their commitments to their current schools over the past two days.

After the Huskies went 4-8 in Jimmy Lake's second season as coach in 2021, Washington hired DeBoer to revive the team. Indiana transfer Michael Benix Jr. orchestrated Washington's high-flying offense as the Huskies doubled their win total to 11. 2 campaign in 2022.

Last season, Washington went 12-0 in the regular season and defeated rival Oregon 34-31 in the Pac-12 Championship Game to reach the CFP for the second time in school history. The Huskies defeated Texas 37-31 in the CFP semifinals at the Allstate Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day.

Washington lost to No. 1 Michigan 34-13 in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T.

DeBoer's hiring at Alabama would be the culmination of his meteoric rise to coaching over the past few seasons. A prolific receiver at the University of Sioux Falls, an NAIA program in his home state of South Dakota, DeBoer became the head coach of his alma mater in 2005. Over the next five seasons, his teams went 67-3 and won three NAIA titles. National Championships (in 2006, 2008 and 2009). The Cougars went 17-2 in the NAIA playoffs during DeBoer's tenure.

DeBoer replaced Jeff Tedford as Fresno State coach in 2020 after stints as offensive coordinator at Southern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Fresno State and Indiana. The Bulldogs went 3-3 in a Covid-19-delayed season in 2020, then improved to 9. -3 in his second season, which included blowout wins over nationally ranked UCLA and San Diego State.

ESPN's Pete Thamel contributed to this report.

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