Legendary Alabama Coach Nick Saban Retiring

He has been with Alabama for 17 seasons, leading the Crimson Tide to six national championships.
Nick Saban walks along the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game in November 2022.
Nick Saban walks along the sideline during the first half of an NCAA college football game in November 2022.
Thomas Graning via Associated Press

Nick Saban, the head coach of the University of Alabama’s storied football team, on Wednesday announced he is retiring.

In a statement, Saban said the university has been a “special place” for him and his wife, Terry, over the 17 years he held the position.

“It is not just about how many games we won and lost, but it’s about the legacy and how we went about it,” Saban said in a statement. “We always tried to do it the right way. The goal was always to help players create more value for their future, be the best player they could be and be more successful in life because they were part of the program.”

He added: “Hopefully, we have done that, and we will always consider Alabama our home.”

The legendary coach has led the Crimson Tide to six national championships. He reportedly told the team Wednesday that the recently finished season would be his last.

Saban, 72, is often considered one of the greatest football coaches of all time. In total, he has won seven national titles (including one at Louisiana State University in 2003), led Alabama to winning seasons every year since 2008 and secured a college record of 292-71-1.

The Tide finished its latest season 12-2, losing 27-20 in overtime to Michigan during the Rose Bowl. Michigan went on to win the national championship against the University of Washington earlier this week.

Saban began his coaching career in the 1970s at Kent State University, and bounced between schools as a position coach before working as defensive coordinator at Michigan State University. His first head coaching job came at the University of Toledo in 1989, followed by a stint as defensive coordinator for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. Then came his long tenure leading teams at Michigan State and LSU, as well as the Miami Dolphins, before his dynasty at Alabama.

He was widely lauded for his recruiting skills and his mentorship of players on and off the field. Four of his players won the Heisman Trophy, and 44 were first-round draft picks in the NFL.

Saban was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2013 and is a five-time winner of SEC Coach of the Year, among many other honors.

“Coach Saban is perhaps, if not the best single investment the university has made, he is one of the best,” Robert Witt, president emeritus at the University of Alabama, told The Tuscaloosa News in 2021.

“It’s not just that coach Saban has been successful, it’s the way he’s been successful. He has never once brought this university’s integrity or honor or values in to question.”

Marita Vlachou contributed reporting.

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