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Saban ‘can’t really put a timetable’ on how long he’ll coach

Nick Saban Getty Images

If you listen — and believe — Nick Saban and his wife Terry, Alabama will be the final stop on what’s been a long and successful coaching career.

Just how long that final stop will last, however, is something even the coach doesn’t know.  Or even really thinks about, for that matter.

The 62-year-old Saban, who has already this season proclaimed he’s “just too damn old to start over” amidst the Texas rumors, was asked during his radio show Wednesday night how long he expects to continue coaching.  While acknowledging “it’s going to be difficult” when the decision is made to step away the sidelines, Saban said he has no idea when he’ll actually pull the trigger on such a decision.

“I really don’t know,” Saban said when asked about the “r” word. “I feel like as long as I enjoy what I’m doing.

“I’m happy with what I’m doing and I feel like I can make a contribution to the young people, and they respond to do things the right way and is actually benefiting them to help them be more successful in their life. As long as I’m healthy and can do that and I’m happy doing it, then I’m going to do it.”

After finishing his playing career at Kent State in 1971, Saban has spent every one of the last 42 years as a coach in some capacity.  The last seven years have been spent in Tuscaloosa, marking the longest — by two full years — he’s stayed at one place.

And, if results are the overriding factor, Saban’s showing no signs of slowing down.  If anything, he’s simply getting better with age.

Alabama has won three of the past four BCS titles, with an unprecedented third straight championship in sight for the top-ranked Tide.  The lifeblood of any football program, recruiting, remains squarely in Saban’s wheelhouse as well.

Since 2008, Saban’s second year in Tuscaloosa, the Tide has claimed‘s top class a whopping five times.  The only time in that six-year stretch they weren’t the No. 1 class was 2010 when they were No. 5.  UA’s worst recruiting finish under Saban was the coach’s first year (No. 10, 2007); in his seventh season, UA’s 2014 class of verbal commitments is far and away No. 1 in the country again just a couple of months ahead of National Signing Day.

Unfortunately for the SEC specifically and college football in general, it appears Saban may just now be hitting his stride as a head coach.

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9 Responses to “Saban ‘can’t really put a timetable’ on how long he’ll coach”
  1. liverpoolred04 says: Nov 28, 2013 1:50 PM

    When you have the backing of the REC it makes your job easy

  2. jimbo75025 says: Nov 28, 2013 1:59 PM

    Do you really see Saban sitting on the front porch playing with his grandkids the rest of his life? Hell I dunno if he even has kids.

    Face it, he is going to be a football lifer one way or another-nothing wrong with that, it is what he enjoys and there are far worse things to be in life. I do see him taking a year off at some point though and say he is retired. That will last until somebody sends a few Brinks trucks to his house and he will be back for a shot of glory.

  3. dcroz says: Nov 28, 2013 4:00 PM

    Saban has a son and a daughter, both grown. He is also set to be a grandfather for the first time next month.

    I do believe Saban when he says Alabama will be his last coaching gig, but as for how long he remains, I think he’s on a year-to-year basis. Once this season is done, he will take a little time to evaluate whether he wants to keep going; if he decides he’s had enough, he’ll hand over the reins to Kirby Smart and move on to whatever he wants to do next. As I’ve said on here before, he’s got a ton of possibilities in front of him that will keep him active and pay him well without all the pressure and 14-hour days he has now. It’s just when one of those becomes more attractive than what he’s doing now that he will close out his career and embark on a new one.

    Regardless, what he along with former president and current chancellor Robert Witt have done to transform my alma mater over the last several years has been amazing. Enrollment has grown tremendously, a majority of each of the last two freshman classes have come from out of state, the academic reputation of the school is growing as it currently has an application to join the AAU, the toxic “ol’-boy network” mentality of doing things as they always have been on both the academic and athletic sides has been replaced with a more modern and long-sighted approach, and construction on the campus for both academic and athletic facilities has been phenomenal (with much thanks to the late Mal Moore for his incredible fundraising acumen). While Bear Bryant had such a lasting legacy on the university and the state in terms of pride over his on-field accomplishments, Saban’s legacy may very well be far broader and enduring.

  4. sportsguy3434 says: Nov 28, 2013 8:24 PM

    If I had to guess I would say about 5 years give or take. Guys like him are not wired to retire early and play golf. He is the best at what he does and he has no reason to quit. I think he will consider retiring when he pass Bear or the nation wide national championship record before he considers retiring early. For now it is all about perfecting the process.

  5. sidelineshot says: Nov 28, 2013 8:54 PM

    All the dude does is win.
    Bama has made a mountain of money and can get any coach it wants if he leaves.

  6. novoodoo4409 says: Nov 29, 2013 8:23 AM

    Must be horrible to live in a state with no pro sports and only know rull tird rull your entire life….how depressing….mullets and trailer parks….

  7. vie05ua says: Nov 29, 2013 11:18 AM

    novoodoo, obviously you’ve never been to Alabama and just take another’s words as fact when it comes to stereotypes. Either that or you’re just jealous that your team sucks.

  8. ladybamaluvr says: Nov 30, 2013 3:37 AM

    @novoodoo4409, it is not horrible living in the state of Alabama. We don’t mind that we have no pro sports. If you think we all live in trailer parks, you are dumber than you think we are!

  9. suprmous says: Nov 30, 2013 4:38 AM

    Au Contraire, but there is a semi pro team or 2 in the State of Alabama. Not only that some of the best Pro Players came from the State of Alabama and played for different universities both large and small as well as had coaches from smaller colleges as well. novoodoo you and others need to do your homework before spoutin off your biased mouthes. As the sistah of 3 that played at Bama I’d love to see you go up against my Holy Terror 3 that still maintain their playin weight of an average of over 300 lbs, wish you could’ve met the late Coach Eddie Robinson, gotten to know Carlos Danzby, and the list goes on. You jerks would be eatin nails and crappin all over yourselves apologizin to the folks of Alabama for your assinine remarks. I may be an LSU fan but the ties I have to Alabama will always have a special place in my heart. Grow up, grow a pair, and realize you’re biased plain and simple.

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