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 Rivals.com‘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.