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New Alabama coach won’t adopt fake southern accent like LSU’s Brian Kelly

Since he was hired as Alabama’s new football coach earlier this month, questions have swirled around Kalen DeBoer and whether the born-and-bred South Dakotan who has never coached farther south than Fresno, California can successfully acclimate to the ruthlessly competitive world of the SEC.

As DeBoer works to quell those doubts, he won’t be doing so with a newfound southern accent.

In an appearance Wednesday on “The Pat McAfee Show” on ESPN, the Crimson Tide coach was asked if he might change his accent in a similar way to LSU coach Brian Kelly, who infamously spoke at a Tigers men’s basketball game the day he was introduced as the school’s new football coach with a hilariously thick and outrageously contrived drawl.

With a laugh, DeBoer shot that possibility down.

“I think that would go wrong for me,” DeBoer said. “I know who I am. There’s some South Dakota in there. That’s who I am. We’ve just got to live with that. You got me for who I am.”

Kelly, who grew up in the Boston area and spent his entire coaching career in New England and the Midwest, was mocked for his December 2021 address to LSU fans for speaking with a little more molasses in his voice than usual. Much of the criticism and humor came from his pronunciation of the word ‘family.’

Kelly joked about it a month later while stopping in the ESPN booth during its broadcast of LSU’s appearance in the Texas Bowl.

As he works to try to replace legendary outgoing Alabama coach Nick Saban, DeBoer won’t be trying anything similar, though McAfee, the show’s eponymous host, thinks it may come with time.

“A year from now, though, you can’t help it with it being around,” McAfee said. “It’s going to inevitably happen. Hopefully, you’ll be down there the next 15-20 years just like Saban was doing great things.”

While it won’t be coming with a manufactured, Foghorn Leghorn-like accent, DeBoer is already putting in the work he’ll need to in order to succeed in Tuscaloosa. He joined McAfee’s show from the side of a road after he had pulled over while out recruiting.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY

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