Why is Nick Saban retiring? Alabama legend to end iconic coaching career after 7 national titles

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Nick Saban is done. 

The seven-time national championship coach, best known for his 17 seasons with Alabama, reportedly has decided to retire. While it was rumored the college football legend would step away from the game soon, many suspected the 72-year old would try to capture another title before stepping away.

Saban led the Tide to an SEC championship and a CFP playoff game, in which they fell to the eventual champion Michigan in the Rose Bowl. Alabama finished the season 12-2.

The news was first reported by ESPN’s Chris Low.

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Saban recorded a 206-29 record while in Tuscaloosa as well as six national championships. His latest came in 2020, while his first was in 2003 with LSU.

After playing for Kent State, he began his head coaching career at Toledo in 1990. He jumped to the NFL to become the Browns’ defensive coordinator before heading back to college with Michigan State from 1995-99. After five years at LSU, including his first title in 2003, he headed to the Dolphins for two seasons before returning to the SEC for good.

He holds the most national championships in college football coaching history, surpassing fellow Tide legend Bear Bryant.

Why is Nick Saban retiring?

Saban began coaching in 1973 as a graduate assistant with Kent State, where he played three seasons. He spent the next 51 years coaching three NFL teams and 10 college teams, Alabama being the most notable on the list. 

While his final season fell short in an overtime loss, Saban didn’t need another win to define his success or etch his name in history. His 17 seasons in Tuscaloosa did that for him. 

In his final press conference, Saban said, “This is one of the most amazing seasons in Alabama football history in terms of where this team came from, what they were able to accomplish and what they were able to do…I just wish that I could have done more as a coach to help them be successful and help them finish, and all we can do now is learn from the lessons that sometimes failings bring to us.”

The coach has yet to speak on his retirement.

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