Paul Finebaum 12-year-old Alabama Kalen DeBoer Screen grab: The Paul Finebaum Show

When news broke late last week that Alabama was hiring Kalen DeBoer as its next head coach, many credited ESPN’s Chris Low and Mark Schlabach with breaking the story.

Devoted listeners of The Paul Finebaum Show, however, likely gave credit to a different source, as a 12-year-old caller named Dominic had shared the news of DeBoer’s impending hire one day prior.

“Hey Paul, I had to call back. I’ve got some breaking news,” Dominic from Pittsburgh told Finebaum last Thursday. “A little birdie I know just came to my bedroom window and told me it’s Kalen DeBoer to Tuscaloosa. Done deal.

“Take it for what you want, but I trust this birdie. Roll damn Tide, Paul! See ya, buddy.”

One day later, DeBoer’s information was proven correct as the Crimson Tide hired the Washington head coach to replace the legendary Nick Saban. On Monday,’s Mark Heim profiled Dominic, and like any good reporter, the sixth-grader wasn’t willing to give up his source.

“Well, that’s Blackbeard’s birdie,” Dominic answered when asked how he got the scoop. “Sorry, man.”

Dominic isn’t just some random 12-year-old who happened to get a scoop, but a devoted Alabama — and Paul Finebaum — fan. After making it his mission to get on the air with the SEC’s most famous radio host, Dominic has since become a regular and had even called in the day before he broke the DeBoer story to share his take on Saban’s retirement.

“I can’t really blame him though, having to deal with all this NIL bull-crap and kids not wanting to compete anymore,” Dominic said. “He will forever be the GOAT. Roll damn Tide, Paul! See you, buddy.”

As for what’s next, Dominic has no plans to continue to break news, although he may remain a regular on Finebaum. As for the DeBoer era in Tuscaloosa, the Steel City sixth-grader has high hopes.

“A natty in ‘24,” he told Heim of his expectations.


About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.