Alabama DeBoer Football

New Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer gives his introductory speech during an NCAA college football press conference at Bryant-Denny Stadium, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. DeBoer is replacing the recently retired Nick Saban.

South Alabama coach Kane Wommack resigned Tuesday and is headed to Alabama to become defensive coordinator for coach Kalen DeBoer.

South Alabama athletic director Joel Erdmann told The Associated Press that Alabama is “getting an amazing human being who sincerely cares for his players and his team and those surrounding the program.”

Erdmann said Wommack is “a very savvy tactician defensively and runs schemes that in my opinion offensive coordinators don’t like going against.”

“They’re getting a very, very talented young man," he said.

Wommack did not immediately return a text or phone message from the AP. He told that DeBoer being “one of my best friends in this profession” helped make it too tempting an offer to pass up. He said DeBoer called Monday and said, “Are you ready for this?”

“I knew that him and I have been working for an opportunity like this and we always dreamed about doing it together and had no idea that this would be the opportunity, but it just feels like the stars have aligned for a number of us to go do something really special at Alabama,” Wommack told

DeBoer, who was hired away from Washington last week to replace Nick Saban, and Wommack worked together as assistants at Indiana in 2019 under Tom Allen. DeBoer was offensive coordinator and Wommack defensive coordinator.

The 36-year-old Wommack has been head coach at South Alabama for three seasons, going 22-16 overall and 13-11 in the Sun Belt. He led the Jaguars to their first bowl win last season, a 59-10 victory over Eastern Michigan in the Lending Tree Bowl.

Erdmann said there was mixed feelings among South Alabama players and staff.

“As would be expected, there’s disappointment but also a very tangible sense of gratitude for what Kane has done in his time here,” he said. “And a sense of congratulations to him for his new position. It is a weird combination of disappointment but also appreciation for Kane’s service.”

South Alabama's defense ranked 22nd in the country in yards per play allowed (5.01) in 2023, tied with Alabama.

DeBoer is expected to bring most of his offensive staff from Washington, including play-caller Ryan Grubb, to Alabama.

AP College Football Writer Ralph D. Russo contributed to this report.

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