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Quotes from Kalen DeBoer’s Friday interview with Paul Finebaum

It has been roughly a week since we learned that Kalen DeBoer would be replacing the legendary Nick Saban as the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team. Since that time, Coach DeBoer has gone through the wringer in terms of roster management.

Not only is Coach DeBoer dealing with recruiting high school prospects, but the transfer portal has been incredibly wild for Alabama but DeBoer seems to be taking it all in stride.

On Friday, Coach DeBoer joined Paul Finebaum on “The Paul Finebaum Show” to discuss his transition from Washington to Alabama and how he has handled the extremely difficult situation.

Below is everything Coach DeBoer had to say:

Opening remarks

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Syndication: Tuscaloosa News

“I appreciate it. It’s been a whirlwind. But it’s been a fun time, from the championship game to this opportunity (for) my family and I. Thanks for having me on. I appreciate it, Paul.”

On how he is living through this experience

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Syndication: Tuscaloosa News

“Just one day at a time and enjoying the moments, enjoying the journey, whether it’s preparing for a semifinal game, a championship. You work to get into those moments. And so you don’t necessarily have a chance to enjoy it, but you know it’s special and you pour everything into it. And now this opportunity as well – one day at a time. You wake up, you roll up your sleeves and you go to work and you put great people around you and you trust and believe that you’ve got what it takes. We’re excited about what this future lies. These kids here in this program are special, and it’s been awesome getting to meet them over the last few days.”

On the reception he received at the airport

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Syndication: Tuscaloosa News

“It just shows the support. I think football and football at Alabama, it brings people together. I don’t know if they were expecting to come together at that place on a Friday night a couple of weeks ago, but they were and it meant a lot for my family and I and it was a great way to kick off our time here.”

On when he heard that he was considered for the Alabama job

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Syndication: Tuscaloosa News

“You’re always honored just to be in the same breath as other coaches, whether it’s a coach of the year, and just to be recognized that way as someone that someone wants. But I just kept working with my own team, and that’s where that’s where I was at. I’ve always believed you work where your feet are at, and I did that. And then getting a chance to meet with Greg (Byrne) and just hear his vision and everything that he was excited about here in the program, just I could tell it aligned with what I was looking for. And all the history and tradition here at Alabama, wow. I mean, I don’t care what side of the country you’re on, you know all about it.”

On his first conversation with Nick Saban

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

“Well, I actually called him right when I was taking the job, and it was just really cool hearing how humble he was, talking about even Coach Bryant and how he was trying to build on top of that. You can certainly tell that he just wants this program to continue to take the steps forward, and that’s what the great opportunity is for us is to build on the foundation he’s left. And he’s left a great foundation, not just with the players in this program, but everything that’s been built up to support them.

“I always want to make sure he knows he’s welcome here. He’s always going to be a critical, critical piece of this program’s history and tradition. I’m going to force him to make sure he gives me one or two tips and pointers every time he walks on the practice field to come watch us. But I’d be pretty foolish not to have a legendary coach like Coach Saban here helping us with whatever he’s got.”

On what Saban has helped with

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Syndication: Tuscaloosa News

“I know that every time I’ve called him, he’s picked up the phone. And it’s been quite often. I’m trying to give him some space and let him enjoy his time, but I know he sees my number come in and knows that I’m looking for maybe a little bit of advice or just talk through something. And he’s just been awesome in every way. He’s going to continue to do that. I can just feel that’s what he’s all about.”

On his coaching staff and where is stands currently

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

“We’re getting close. We’re not there all the way. But we’ve got an extremely talented staff, a good mix of people I’ve worked with with those that are very familiar with the SEC and have either coached here or know the area well. So I’m excited about the style of play we’ll have. We’ll continue to attack both sides of the ball, and just a group that I know their personalities, their egos get pushed off to the side and will always do what’s better, betterment of the team. But just excited. Again, we’re not quite there yet, but they’re a very talented group.”

On dealing with the 30-day transfer portal window

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

“I was just through this two years ago, and this is a much better situation than even that one was with a number of players leaving. You just stay the course, and you roll up your sleeves, like I said earlier. There’s such a great group of leaders here in this program that want to uphold the standard of Alabama football, and they are sticking together. And we want those guys that want to be here. They’re working through all the noise that’s out there, and I just couldn’t be more proud of them sticking together, them being intentional on communicating with themselves and trying to keep it tight and keep it together.

“A lot of these guys, they came here to leave a legacy – to build on a legacy but also leave a legacy, and they look at it as their job’s not done. There’s unfinished business with what they accomplished, whether it’s this year or the years past. And so we’re really looking forward to locking arms as a team, as a staff and continue to just work with the guys that are here. I really feel like we’re in a great spot. We’ve just got to stay the course.”

On his message to the fans

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Syndication: Tuscaloosa News

“I think it’s just the world we live in right now. When you have change and transition, there’s going to be change with everything that’s around a program. A lot of these programs are going through changes without transition of head coaches. So I just look at it and naturally, you expect that this is going to happen to some extent. We’ll get the right people in the program, whether it’s staff, whether it’s players. And this is a place that has got the best facilities, the best resources in the entire country, and we are able to support the great players that come in here with all of that. I think that our guys – and I would tell this to fans as well – to be excited about the staff we’re bringing in and what we’re gonna be capable of doing. I’m really not alarmed at all.”

On his family

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Syndication: Tuscaloosa News

“I’ve got my wife, Nicole. We’ve been married 22 years, made a few moves, right, along the way. And you don’t do this job without having someone that just supports you in every way and allows you to go to work and just pour yourself into these players, into a staff and a program. And then two daughters, and one is finishing in high school and the other is in sixth grade – Alexis and Avery. They love football. They love supporting the team, the players, and again, wouldn’t do this without their support.”

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Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire