Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

DeBoer looks to usher in new era of Alabama football at A-Day

CW / Riley Thompson
Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer watches during practice.

Although head football coach Kalen DeBoer’s hire answered many questions three months ago, it raised many more, and the Crimson Tide fan base will start seeking those answers at Alabama’s annual A-Day on Saturday.  

However, this last practice of the spring may look a little bit different than Crimson Tide fans are used to. 

“The format for the spring game will be an offense versus defense. We won’t have divided teams,” DeBoer said. “I like to look at it as practice No. 15. We’ll see a lot of great scrimmaging out there, but it’s a chance for us to get better, a chance for us to take a next step, a chance for us to evaluate as well. We’re going to try and get down to the bare bones of playing some football.” 

Although the 1s-versus-2s  format synonymous with former head coach Nick Saban is scrapped, DeBoer said he’s still working to learn and maintain a lot of the traditions the Capstone is known for, especially a packed Bryant-Denny Stadium. 

“It [A-Day] also gives us a chance to celebrate what we’re doing and where we’re at and enjoy the moment with the fans,” DeBoer said. “I’m excited to see a packed stadium there and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone come and support our program.” 

Here’s your guide to A-Day: what to expect, where to go, and why this might be the most important A-Day yet.

Missing legends 

DeBoer will obviously have big shoes to fill on the field, but in the broadcast booth, another Crimson Tide legend will be replaced. Saban had been with Alabama since 2007, but former announcer Eli Gold had been calling games since 1988, outside of the 2022 season and most road games of last season.  

Gold made it clear, though, that this was not retirement or because of his health, and he wanted to remain the voice of the Crimson Tide.  

“My intention in the master plan in life was to have them carry me to the cemetery directly from the broadcast booth. That was my intention,” Gold said to the Tuscaloosa News.  

Chris Stewart, a basketball play-by-play announcer for Crimson Tide Sports Network filled in for Gold’s missed games and will take over the role starting on A-Day. 

With a new voice of the Crimson Tide being established and a new coaching standard being set, this A-Day will set a precedent for much more than just next season’s team. 

Schedule of events 

In many ways, A-Day is still designed to reflect a typical game in the fall, and Saturday will host many of the same events. The Walk of Champions will begin at 1:50 p.m., and there will still be plenty of Quad activity as well.  

For A-Day, though, the Quad activity takes the form of the Walk of Fame ceremony, which will begin at 1 p.m. As the 2023 captains, quarterback Jalen Milroe, outside linebacker Dallas Turner and safety Malachi Moore will all make their mark on the Walk of Fame. The captains and Saban will also address the crowd.  

There will also be an alumni flag football game that begins in Bryant-Denny Stadium at 12:30 p.m. For a full schedule of A-Day events, visit 

Die-hard fans 

For Alabama fans looking to make the most of their weekend in Tuscaloosa, several other Crimson Tide sports programs are hosting games and matches this weekend. 

Men’s tennis finishes its regular season with two matchups, one against Ole Miss on Friday at 4 p.m. and one against Texas A&M on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Crimson Tide is currently ranked No. 22 and will aim to even up its current 4-6 conference record. 

Baseball and softball also both play in Tuscaloosa this weekend. Baseball will start first with a 6 p.m. Friday night game at the Joe, where the No. 16 Crimson Tide will challenge the No. 1 Arkansas Razorbacks. Alabama will hope to bounce back from a four-game losing streak with the three-game SEC series with games also at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. 

No. 12/13 softball will start on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Rhoads Stadium with a matchup against the No. 11/12 Texas A&M Aggies. The Crimson Tide is on a three-game winning streak after sweeping the Ole Miss Rebels last weekend and will aim to extend the streak with two more games against the Aggies on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. and Monday at 6 p.m. 

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