In a shocking, but unsurprising, turn of events, Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is retiring, ESPN’s Chris Low announced on Wednesday.
Saban, 72, is arguably the greatest coach in college football history, and holds a career record of 292-71-1, including a 201-29 record at Alabama, where he just completed his 17th season as head coach.
Saban will finish with the second-most wins in Alabama history, ranking second behind Bear Bryant, who won 232 games in 25 years as the head coach of the Crimson Tide.
A winner of seven national titles since 1998, with one coming at LSU and six at Alabama, Saban walks away with more than double the national titles than the next-best head coach during that time period, as Urban Meyer is second with two.
Saban began his head coaching career at Toledo in 1990, where he went 9-2, before making a move to the NFL, working under Bill Belicheck as the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns from 1991-94.
From there, Saban took over as the head coach of the Michigan State Spartans from 1995-99, where he went 34-24-1, before moving to LSU under the same role from 2000-04, where he holds a record of 48-16.
Before joining Alabama as their head coach in 2007, Saban had a two-year stint as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins from 2005-06, but moved on to the Crimson Tide after they fired Mike Shula.
From there, it was history, as Saban won 11 conference titles during his 17 years at Alabama, losing only 29 total games, and holding a record of 9-5 in the College Football Playoff since it began in 2014.
Of course, we have to include that Saban did go 2-2 all-time against Wisconsin, losing 45-14 in 1995 and 40-10 in 1999 while at Michigan State, while beating the Badgers 30-13 in 1996 with the Spartans and 35-17 with the Crimson Tide in 2015.
The Badgers are set to face the Crimson Tide in a home-and-home series over the next two seasons, with Alabama traveling to Camp Randall Stadium in 2024, while Wisconsin will head to Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2025.
Congrats on a wonderful coaching career Coach Saban!