Saban announces retirement after 17 seasons at Alabama

Saban announces retirement after 17 seasons at Alabama


1 day ago Alabama Athletics

Photo: Alabama Athletics

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama’s Nick Saban, who has won more college football national championships than any coach in the modern era, announced his retirement on Wednesday.

“The University of Alabama has been a very special place to Terry and me,” Saban said. “We have enjoyed every minute of our 17 years being the head coach at Alabama as well as becoming a part of the Tuscaloosa community. It is not just about how many games we won and lost, but it’s about the legacy and how we went about it. 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. Hopefully, we have done that, and we will always consider Alabama our home.”

Saban spent 28 years as a college head coach at Toledo (1990), Michigan State (1995-99), LSU (2000-04) and Alabama (2007-23). He won seven national titles in those 28 years, his first at LSU in 2003 before capturing six championships at Alabama (2009, 2011-12, 2015, 2017 and 2020). He also coached the Miami Dolphins for two seasons (2005-06).

“Simply put, Nick Saban is one of the greatest coaches of all time, in any sport, and The University of Alabama is fortunate to have had him leading our football program for the past 17 seasons,” said Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne. “Throughout his career as a head coach, his teams have won seven national championships, 11 conference championships and 312 games, and he’s developed an NCAA-record 49 NFL first-round draft picks and, most importantly, hundreds of college graduates. He is the consummate coach, mentor and leader, and his impact is felt far beyond the football field.

“Coach Saban and Ms. Terry have touched countless lives in our community and the state of Alabama with the work they’ve done through the Nick’s Kids Foundation. While his time as our coach may have come to an end, his legacy will live on forever. What an honor it has been for us to have a front-row seat to one of the best to ever do it. A truly remarkable career for Coach Saban.”

Saban’s teams won three national championships during the Bowl Championship Series era and three more after the start of the College Football Playoff. In 10 seasons of the CFP, Saban’s Crimson Tide teams qualified eight times.

“Words cannot adequately express our appreciation to Coach Saban for his exemplary leadership and service to The University of Alabama over the past 17 years,” said Alabama President Stuart R. Bell. “His commitment to excellence has set the standard for our program, both on the field and in the classroom. We are grateful for the lasting impact he has made on the lives of our student-athletes and the incredible memories his teams have created for our students, alumni, fans and supporters.

“Coach Saban and Ms. Terry are tremendous ambassadors for The University of Alabama and our community and we celebrate their many contributions and indelible legacy.”

Saban compiled a 297-71-1 (.806) collegiate coaching record, including a 206-29 (.877) mark in Tuscaloosa. His teams won a combined 11 SEC titles, going 11-1 in SEC Championship Games, including nine at Alabama (9-1 record) and two at LSU (2-0 mark). He also won 15 games with the Dolphins in 2005-06.

In Saban’s six national championship seasons at Alabama, his teams went 21-2 against top-10 opponents, and, since 2008, the Crimson Tide was 37-15 overall against top-10 teams. Alabama was also ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Poll for at least one week for 15 straight years (2008-22), which broke the record of seven established by Miami (1986-92).

Saban coached four Heisman Trophy winners, joining Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy for the most in college football history. He is the only coach to ever coach Heisman Trophy winners at three different positions (RB, WR, QB). The Alabama program had just six individual national award winners when Saban arrived on campus, but Crimson Tide players have secured 60 national awards since 2008.

His players at Alabama have won 66 All-America honors by 58 different individuals over the past 16 seasons. Eight players have been named two-time All-Americans along with 46 consensus honors and 25 unanimous selections. Will Anderson Jr. became the first two-time unanimous All-American in Alabama history.

Saban’s success has also translated to NFL success for his players with a record 49 players chosen in the first round of the draft (44 at Alabama). His Alabama players have been paid over $2 billion over the last 16 NFL seasons.

Alabama’s success on the field over the past 17 seasons has coincided with the Tide’s success in the classroom. Since Saban’s arrival in 2007, Alabama football has seen a total of 656 degrees earned, including 103 master’s degrees.

The Sabans Nick’s Kids Foundation is a vibrant example of the family’s continuing concern for disadvantaged children. Since Nick and Terry arrived in Tuscaloosa, over $12 million has been distributed to students, teachers and children’s causes at over 150 charities through the Nick’s Kids Foundation.


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