Opinion: Will Saban Retire Before His New Extension Ends?
This is an opinion piece.
Alabama fans got some good news on Monday in the form of a new contract extension for seven-time national championship-winning coach Nick Saban. At that exact moment, college football fans across the country - from Ann Arbor and Columbus, Ohio to College Station and Athens, Georgia - all shuttered in fear. This begs the question though - will the legendary Crimson Tide coach actually finish out his contract extension?
No. I’m not talking about the rumor that your barber’s aunt’s nephew heard from the realtor in Austin, Texas or the speculation by your favorite sports talk station host in the city whose NFL team needs a new coach. I’m talking about retirement.
In the midst of a 41-0 beatdown over Mississippi State in Tuscaloosa last season, Saban was celebrating his 69th birthday. That means that the West Virginia native is now the third-oldest active college football coach in the country. He sits behind Ohio Bobcats head coach Frank Solich (76) and North Carolina coach Mack Brown (69) whose birthday is about two months before Saban.
Don’t get me wrong - Saban seems to be in perfect health condition. Just a month ago, Saban was seen golfing at the Regions Tradition celebrity pro-am in Birmingham.
Still, if Nick Saban can make it through 2028, his last year on his new contract, he would be 77. This is unlikely.
Coach “Bear” Bryant, who put Alabama football on the map, coached until he was 69. He ultimately passed away in January after his last season at the Capstone. Bryant’s friendly rivals Joe Paterno and Bobby Bowden coached a little longer. While Penn State’s Paterno was an outlier and coached until he was 85, Florida State’s Bowden coached until he was 80. Coaches rarely stay in the sport past their 70s.
Until Saban won his latest national title in January, he was chasing several of “Bear” Bryant’s records. Coach Bryant won 323 games at Alabama in 25 years, and while Nick Saban has consistently won around 10 games each year that he has been at Alabama, it would be impossible to reach or pass Bryant’s record by 2028. Still, Saban has already surpassed the most important record - national titles.
According to CelebrityNetworth.com, Nick Saban is worth over $60 million total, even before his contract extension. With potential national championships, SEC championships, and more bonuses, it is possible that by the last two years of his contract, he could be worth over $75 million. Saban is more than set for the rest of his life.
This, combined with the fact that he just welcomed another grandchild last spring, means that Saban now has a lot of growing family to spend time with.
While it could be possible that Saban can last through his contract, the fact that he has accomplished the ultimate goal of national titles, has young grandchildren to hang out with and has made plenty of money might mean an early exit by Nick Saban before the 2028 season.
One thing is certain for Alabama fans though - Nick Saban isn’t going anywhere else and will end his career at Alabama.
For now, though, cherish this news Alabama fans. The greatest college football coach ever has just had his contract extended for your favorite football team, and with this extension will surely come more national titles and more success.
For more from Bryant Horn, visit TIDE1009.com or listen to his radio program, Hop on with Horn on Wednesday nights from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on 100.9. Follow him on Twitter: @Bryant_Horn for his professional account and @HopOnWithHorn for the show page.