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Nick Saban

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Title: Nick Saban  
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Subject: Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bob Stoops, Joe Paterno, Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award, LSU Tigers football
Collection: 1951 Births, Alabama Crimson Tide Football Coaches, American People of Croatian Descent, American Roman Catholics, Cleveland Browns Coaches, Houston Oilers Coaches, Kent State Golden Flashes Football Coaches, Kent State Golden Flashes Football Players, Living People, Lsu Tigers Football Coaches, Miami Dolphins Head Coaches, Michigan State Spartans Football Coaches, National Football League Defensive Coordinators, Navy Midshipmen Football Coaches, Ohio State Buckeyes Football Coaches, People from Fairmont, West Virginia, Players of American Football from West Virginia, Syracuse Orange Football Coaches, Toledo Rockets Football Coaches, West Virginia Mountaineers Football Coaches
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Nick Saban

Nick Saban
Saban at an Alabama practice in 2009
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Alabama
Conference SEC
Record 93–18[a]
Annual salary US$6.9 million[1]
Biographical details
Born (1951-10-31) October 31, 1951
Fairmont, West Virginia
Playing career
1970–1971 Kent State
Position(s) Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1972–1974 Kent State (GA)
1975–1976 Kent State (D. Asst.)
1977 Syracuse (D. Asst.)
1978–1979 West Virginia (D. Asst.)
1980–1981 Ohio State (DB)
1982 Navy (D. Asst.)
1983–1987 Michigan State (DB/DC)
1988–1989 Houston Oilers (DB)
1990 Toledo
1991–1994 Cleveland Browns (DC)
1995–1999 Michigan State
2000–2004 LSU
2005–2006 Miami Dolphins
2007–present Alabama
Head coaching record
Overall 184–60–1 (college)[a]
15–17 (NFL)
Bowls 8–8
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
4 National (2003, 2009, 2011–2012)
1 MAC (1990)
5 SEC (2001, 2003, 2009, 2012, 2014)
8 SEC Western Division (2001–2003, 2008–2009, 2012–2014)
2× AP National Coach of the Year (2003, 2008)[2]
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (2003)
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (2003, 2008)
Home Depot Coach of the Year Award (2008)
Walter Camp Coach of the Year (2008)[3]
Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award (2008)[4]
Sporting News Coach of the Year (2008)
Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award (2010)[5][6]
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (2014)
SEC Coach of the Year (2003, 2008–2009)

Nicholas Lou "Nick" Saban, Jr. (;[7] born October 31, 1951)[8] is an American college football coach, and the current head football coach of the University of Alabama, a position he has held since the 2007 season. Saban previously served as head coach of the National Football League's Miami Dolphins and three other universities: Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Toledo. His eight-year contract totaling US$32 million made him one of the highest paid football coaches, professional or collegiate, in the United States at the time.[9] He appeared on the September 1, 2008, cover of Forbes magazine as "The Most Powerful Coach in Sports".[10] Saban's career record as a college head coach is 184–60–1.[a]

Saban led the LSU Tigers to the BCS National Championship in 2003 and the Alabama Crimson Tide to BCS and AP national championships in the 2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons, making him the first coach in college football history to win a national championship with two different Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools since the inception of the AP Poll in 1936.[11] Saban and Bear Bryant are the only coaches to win an SEC championship at two different schools.[12] In May 2013, he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.


  • Assistant football coach 1
  • Head football coach 2
    • Toledo 2.1
    • Michigan State 2.2
    • LSU 2.3
    • Miami Dolphins 2.4
    • Alabama 2.5
      • 2007 2.5.1
      • 2008 2.5.2
      • 2009 2.5.3
      • 2010 2.5.4
      • 2011 2.5.5
      • 2012 2.5.6
      • 2013 2.5.7
      • 2014 2.5.8
      • 2015 2.5.9
  • NFL draftees 3
  • Personal life 4
  • Coaching tree 5
  • Head coaching record 6
    • College 6.1
    • NFL 6.2
  • Notes 7
  • References 8
    • Further reading 8.1
  • External links 9

Assistant football coach

Saban had not intended to enter coaching until Don James, his coach at Kent State, made him a graduate assistant while Saban waited for his wife to graduate.[13] He later served as an assistant coach at Syracuse, West Virginia, Ohio State, Navy and Michigan State in NCAA Division I-A, and with the Houston Oilers and Cleveland Browns in the National Football League.[14] Saban is considered part of the Bill Belichick coaching tree, having worked under him in Cleveland.

Head football coach


Saban was hired as head coach at the University of Toledo on December 22, 1989.[15] Coming off of 6–5 seasons in both 1988 and 1989, the Rockets found quick success under Nick Saban, going 9–2. The two games the Rockets lost that season were by narrow margins: one point to Central Michigan, and four points to Navy.[16] Saban turned down an application of Urban Meyer, who was looking for a job on his staff.[17] With the 9–2 season, Toledo was co-champion of the Mid-American Conference. Saban resigned as Toledo's head coach the following February after one season to become defensive coordinator of the National Football League's Cleveland Browns under Bill Belichick.[18]

Michigan State

When Saban arrived in

External links

Further reading

  1. ^ Casagrande, Michael. "Nick Saban's contract extension, big raise approved by Alabama trustees". Retrieved June 4, 2014. 
  2. ^ Zenor, John (December 23, 2008). "AP Coach of Year: Alabama's Nick Saban". Associated Press. Retrieved December 23, 2008. 
  3. ^ "Alabama’s Nick Saban Named Walter Camp 2008 Coach of the Year". Walter Camp Football Foundation. December 28, 2008. Retrieved December 28, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Nick Saban Named 2008 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year for Division I – FBS". Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year. December 31, 2008. Retrieved December 31, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Saban Picks Up Stagg Award",, May 18, 2010 
  6. ^ "Saban in Daphne",, May 18, 2010 
  7. ^ See inogolo: pronunciation of Saban.
  8. ^ Schexnayder, C.J. "Nick Saban". Encyclopedia of Alabama. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  9. ^ "After repeated denials, Saban takes Bama job". ESPN. January 1, 2007. Retrieved December 15, 2008. 
  10. ^ Burke, Monte (August 7, 2008). "The Most Powerful Coach in Sports". Forbes. 
  11. ^ "Saban, Tide good for each other".  
  12. ^ "Tide title wave: Bama rolls over No. 1 Florida to win SEC, spot in national championship game". American Chronicle. December 6, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Sabanization of College Football". Retrieved January 11, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Nick Saban – Alabama Football Coaches Profile". Retrieved December 15, 2008. 
  15. ^ Bergener, John (December 22, 1989). "Saban named UT football coach". The Blade (Toledo, Ohio: Google News). p. 24. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Toledo Game by Game Results – 1990". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 15, 2008. 
  17. ^ Thamel, Pete (December 4, 2009). "Nick Saban and Urban Meyer Share a Friendship With Bill Belichick".  
  18. ^ Hackenberg, Dave (February 14, 1991). "UT begins the search...again". The Blade (Toledo, Ohio: Google News). p. 29. Retrieved February 19, 2012. 
  19. ^ Infractions Case: Michigan State University, NCAA Register, October 7, 1996. Retrieved May 15, 2008.
  20. ^ "Michigan State In the Polls". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved December 16, 2008. 
  21. ^ "A New Leader for a New Era". LSU Sports Information Department - Retrieved December 16, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Saban Denies Interest in the Alabama Coaching Job". Associated Press. December 21, 2006. Retrieved December 16, 2008. 
  23. ^ After repeated denials, Saban takes Bama job, News Services, January 4, 2007
  24. ^ Saban: 'I'm not going to be the Alabama coach', Associated Press, December 21, 2006
  25. ^ University of Alabama-Press Conference Transcript (January 4, 2006)
  26. ^ "Nick Saban". Retrieved February 17, 2007. 
  27. ^ "Caddell TD caps wild finish as Bama upsets Arkansas". ESPN. September 15, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2008. 
  28. ^ "Alabama 1980 AP Football Rankings". Retrieved November 3, 2008. 
  29. ^ "No. 7 Utah 31, No. 4 Alabama 17". January 2, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2009. 
  30. ^ "9 Crimson Tide Players Selected to Associated Press All-SEC Team". University of Alabama Athletics Media Relations. December 8, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2008. 
  31. ^ "UA's Saban Named Home Depot Coach of the Year". December 9, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2008. 
  32. ^ "Saban Named Finalist for Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award". University of Alabama Athletics Media Relations. December 9, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2008. 
  33. ^ "Coaches vote Tide overwhelming No. 1", ESPN, August 6, 2010 
  34. ^ "No.1 Alabama Wins Big in First Road Test",, September 18, 2010 
  35. ^ Don Kausler Jr. "Ingram leads No. 1 Alabama to 24-20 come-from-behind victory over No. 10 Arkansas". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  36. ^ "Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide - Recap - October 02, 2010 - ESPN". 2010-10-02. Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  37. ^ "Georgia State vs Alabama Postgame Notes". University of Alabama Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. November 18, 2010. Retrieved November 19, 2010. 
  38. ^ Alabama vs Michigan State recap, ESPN, January 1, 2011 
  39. ^ "Alabama blanks LSU 21–0 for BCS crown". CBS News. January 9, 2012. Retrieved January 12, 2012. 
  40. ^ "Draft History by School–Alabama". National Football League. Retrieved April 8, 2013. 
  41. ^ Medina, Carlos E. (2011-09-30). "Alabama Crimson Tide football team rolls into Ocala Friday afternoon". Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  42. ^ Garrison, Greg (2012-12-21). "Nick vs. Notre Dame: Saban talks faith and football". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  43. ^ Cody, Ryan (2012-07-25). "Faith And Football: Meet Alabama’s Team Chaplain". Retrieved 2015-08-20. 
  44. ^ Croatian Chronicle Network 35 Pacific Northwest Croatian Athletes
  45. ^ (Croatian) Jutarnji list Još jedan trener hrvatskih korijena , Feb 22, 2007
  46. ^ "Saban remembers Kent State Shootings". May 5, 2008. 
  47. ^ Nick's Kids
  48. ^ "'"Nick Saban on Jason Garrett: 'He was 100 times better than the other 10 guys we interviewed. The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved Jan 7, 2015. 
  49. ^ Georgia hires Jeremy Pruitt as DC
  50. ^ Alabama vacates victory from '09 ruling,, March 23, 2010 


  • ^Saban's on-the-field record in 2007 was 7–6 (4–4 SEC). The NCAA ruled that Alabama must vacate 21 victories due to sanctions stemming from textbook-related infractions. The infractions, and 16 of the vacated victories, began under previous coach Mike Shula, and continued until they were discovered during the 2007 season, Saban's first in Tuscaloosa, and thus the official NCAA record for that year reflects a 2–6 mark.[50]


Team Year Regular Season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
MIA 2005 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC East
MIA 2006 6 10 0 .375 4th in AFC East
MIA Total 15 17 0 .469
Total 15 17 0 .469


Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Toledo Rockets (Mid-American Conference) (1990)
1990 Toledo 9–2 7–1 T–1st
Toledo: 9–2 7–1
Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten Conference) (1995–1999)
1995 Michigan State 6–5–1 4–3–1 5th L Independence
1996 Michigan State 6–6 5–3 5th L Sun
1997 Michigan State 7–5 4–4 6th L Aloha
1998 Michigan State 6–6 4–4 6th
1999 Michigan State 9–2* 6–2 T–2nd Invited to Citrus* 9* 9*
Michigan State: 34–24–1 23–16–1 * Saban resigned before bowl game.
LSU Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (2000–2004)
2000 LSU 8–4 5–3 3rd (Western) W Peach 22
2001 LSU 10–3 5–3 1st (Western) W Sugar 8 7
2002 LSU 8–5 5–3 T–2nd (Western) L Cotton
2003 LSU 13–1 7–1 1st (Western) W Sugar 1 2
2004 LSU 9–3 6–2 2nd (Western) L Capital One 16 16
LSU: 48–16 28–12
Alabama Crimson Tide (Southeastern Conference) (2007–present)
2007 Alabama 2–6[a] 1–4[a] T–3rd (Western) W Independence
2008 Alabama 12–2 8–0 1st (Western) L Sugar 6 6
2009 Alabama 14–0 8–0 1st (Western) W BCS NCG 1 1
2010 Alabama 10–3 5–3 4th (Western) W Capital One 11 10
2011 Alabama 12–1 7–1 2nd (Western) W BCS NCG 1 1
2012 Alabama 13–1 7–1 1st (Western) W BCS NCG 1 1
2013 Alabama 11–2 7–1 T–1st (Western) L Sugar 8 7
2014 Alabama 12–2 7–1 1st (Western) L Sugar 4 4
2015 Alabama 7–1 4–1 (Western)
Alabama: 93–18[a] 54–12[a]
Total: 184–60–1[a]
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, BCS, or CFP / New Years' Six bowl.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.


Head coaching record

Saban is from the Bill Belichick coaching tree, having worked as his defensive coordinator during Belichick's tenure as head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

[49] Over the years, former assistant coaches under Saban have gone on to take head coaching positions in both the NFL and at FBS schools. Current

Coaching tree

Saban also is the co-founder, along with his wife, Terry, of the foundation Nick's Kids. This foundation has been used by the Sabans to help mentally-challenged children ever since Saban started head coaching. In the first three years at Alabama, Nick's Kids raised more than $1 million.[47]

Saban shares his last name with another famous football coach, Lou Saban, but their families say they aren't related. Saban made a cameo appearance as himself in the movie The Blind Side. In August 2010 the movie "Nick Saban: Gamechanger" was released. Included in the film are interviews from Belichick and Alabama athletic director Mal Moore, among others.

Saban graduated from Georgia.

Saban is of Croatian origin.[44] Bill Belichick, with whom Nick Saban is good friends, said, when speaking about him and Saban: "Two successful Croats in the same division of NFL. You must admit, you don't see that every day."[45]

Saban was born in Fairmont, West Virginia, to Nick Lou Saban, Sr. and his wife, Mary. Nick grew up and graduated from high school near the small community of Monongah, West Virginia, about 90 miles south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. On December 18, 1971, he married Terry Constable from West Virginia. They have two children, a son, Nicholas, and a daughter, Kristen. He is a devout Roman Catholic and attends Mass before games.[41] In Tuscaloosa, the Sabans attend St. Francis of Assisi University Parish;[42] before his transfer, St. Francis's priest Father Gerald Holloway also served as a chaplain for the football team.[43]

Personal life


Year Round Pick Overall Player name Position NFL team Notes
2009 1 6 6 Smith, AndreAndre Smith Offensive tackle Cincinnati Bengals
3 10 74 Coffee, GlenGlen Coffee Running back San Francisco 49ers
3 13 77 Caldwell, AntoineAntoine Caldwell Center Houston Texans
3 31 95 Johnson, RashadRashad Johnson Defensive back Arizona Cardinals
2010 1 8 8 McClain, RolandoRolando McClain Linebacker Oakland Raiders
1 20 20 Jackson, KareemKareem Jackson Cornerback Houston Texans
2 18 50 Arenas, JavierJavier Arenas Defensive back Kansas City Chiefs
2 25 57 Cody, TerrenceTerrence Cody Defensive end Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Champion (XLVII)
3 34 98 Johnson, MikeMike Johnson Offensive guard Atlanta Falcons
7 4 211 Johnson, MarquisMarquis Johnson Defensive back St. Louis Rams
7 40 247 Deaderick, BrandonBrandon Deaderick Defensive end New England Patriots
2011 1 3 3 Dareus, MarcellMarcell Dareus Defensive tackle Buffalo Bills 2× Pro Bowl (2014,2015)
1 6 6 Jones, JulioJulio Jones Wide receiver Atlanta Falcons 2× Pro Bowl (2013, 2015)
1 25 25 Carpenter, JamesJames Carpenter Offensive tackle Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Champion (XLVIII)
1 28 28 Ingram, MarkMark Ingram Running back New Orleans Saints Pro Bowl (2015)
7 5 208 McElroy, GregGreg McElroy Quarterback New York Jets
2012 1 3 3 Richardson, TrentTrent Richardson Running back Cleveland Browns
1 7 7 Barron, MarkMark Barron Safety Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1 17 17 Kirkpatrick, DreDre Kirkpatrick Cornerback Cincinnati Bengals
1 25 25 Hightower, Dont'aDont'a Hightower Linebacker New England Patriots Super Bowl Champion (XLIX)
2 3 35 Upshaw, CourtneyCourtney Upshaw Linebacker Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl Champion (XLVII)
5 1 136 Chapman, JoshJosh Chapman Defensive tackle Indianapolis Colts
5 11 146 Menzie, DeQuanDeQuan Menzie Cornerback Kansas City Chiefs
7 40 247 Smelley, BradBrad Smelley Tight end Cleveland Browns
2013 1 9 9 Milliner, DeeDee Milliner Cornerback New York Jets
1 10 10 Warmack, ChanceChance Warmack Guard Tennessee Titans
1 11 11 Fluker, D. J.D. J. Fluker Offensive tackle San Diego Chargers
2 29 61 Lacy, EddieEddie Lacy Running back Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl (2014)
4 2 99 Johnson, NicoNico Johnson Linebacker Kansas City Chiefs
4 16 113 Jones, BarrettBarrett Jones Center St. Louis Rams
5 4 137 Williams, JesseJesse Williams Defensive tackle Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl Champion (XLVIII)
5 24 157 Dial, QuintonQuinton Dial Defensive end San Francisco 49ers
7 5 211 Williams, MichaelMichael Williams Tight end Detroit Lions
2014 1 17 17 Mosley, C. J.C. J. Mosley Linebacker Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl (2015)
1 21 21 Clinton-Dix, Ha HaHa Ha Clinton-Dix Safety Green Bay Packers
2 12 44 Kouandjio, CyrusCyrus Kouandjio Offensive tackle Buffalo Bills
4 23 123 Norwood, KevinKevin Norwood Wide receiver Seattle Seahawks
5 20 160 Stinson, EdEd Stinson Defensive end Arizona Cardinals
5 24 164 McCarron, AJAJ McCarron Quarterback Cincinnati Bengals
5 27 167 Sunseri, VinnieVinnie Sunseri Safety New Orleans Saints
6 1 177 Pagan, JeoffreyJeoffrey Pagan Defensive end Houston Texans
1 4 4 Cooper, AmariAmari Cooper Wide receiver Oakland Raiders
2 1 33 Collins, LandonLandon Collins Safety New York Giants
2 4 36 Yeldon, T.J.T.J. Yeldon Running back Jacksonville Jaguars
4 9 108 Fowler, JalstonJalston Fowler Fullback Tennessee Titans
4 13 112 Kouandjio, ArieArie Kouandjio Guard Washington Redskins
7 11 228 Shepherd, AustinAustin Shepherd Offensive tackle Minnesota Vikings
7 36 253 Dickson, XzavierXzavier Dickson Linebacker New England Patriots

NFL draftees

Starting in his ninth season, Alabama began the year ranked #3 in the preseason AP and Coaches Poll marking the eighth straight year the Tide began the season in the top five. It's their lowest preseason ranking since 2009. In the season opener against Arkansas 27-14 for its ninth consecutive win in the series. The following week behind a strong defensive performance, the Tide beat #9 Texas A&M 41-23. In the annual Third Saturday in October meeting, the Tide narrowly defeated Tennessee 19-14 to win its ninth consecutive in the rivalry.


Starting in his eight season, Alabama began the year ranked #2 in the preseason AP and Coaches Poll for the third time in four years. It was the fifth straight season the Crimson Tide started the year in the top two and the seventh consecutive year in the top five. In the season opener Alabama improved to 4–0 in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game beating West Virginia 33–23 in the first meeting between the two schools. The Tide won their home opener the next week over Florida Atlantic 41–0 after the game was called in the fourth quarter due to lightning. The following week they defeated Southern Miss 52–12. In their conference opener, Alabama put up 645 yards of offense beating Florida 42-21. Following a bye week Alabama was voted #1 in the Coaches Poll marking the seventh consecutive season Alabama has reached the top spot. Alabama suffered their first loss of the season losing to #11 Ole Miss 23–17 which ended a 10-game win streak against the Rebels. In Saban's 100th game with the Tide, Alabama bounced back, narrowly defeating Arkansas 14–13 for its eighth consecutive victory in the series. The next week the Tide dominated #21 Texas A&M shutting them out 59–0 which is the 4th largest victory in school history. In their annual rivalry with Tennessee, Alabama won their eighth straight over the Vols 34-20. After a second bye week, Alabama traveled to Baton Rouge to play #14 LSU. After a late field goal, Alabama sent the game into overtime defeating the Tigers 20–13. In a matchup of top five teams, Alabama defeated #1 Mississippi State 25–20 marking the first time Alabama has defeated an AP #1 team at home. Alabama then defeated FCS opponent Western Carolina 48–14. The win secured Alabama its seventh consecutive ten-win season. In the Iron Bowl, Alabama avenged their only regular season loss of last season defeating their in state rival #15 Auburn 55–44, the most points scored in the rivalries history. The Tide finished the regular season 11–1 for the 4th straight season and won the SEC West. It was Saban's 5th division title at Alabama (8th overall for his career). In the 2014 SEC Championship Game, Saban won his 5th SEC title (3rd with Alabama) defeating #14 Missouri 42–13. It was Alabama's 24th SEC championship and first since 2012. Alabama was selected for the College Football Playoff as the #1 seed and played the #4 seed Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl, losing 42–35. The loss was Saban's third in Sugar Bowls at Alabama. The Tide finished the season at 12–2.


As the 2013 campaign began, Saban's Crimson Tide was ranked #1 in both the AP and Coaches preseason polls for the first time since 2010. In the Kentucky 48–7. And for the second straight year Alabama defeated Arkansas 52–0. In the Third Saturday in October, The Tide defeated Tennessee 45–10 to win its seventh consecutive game over the Vols. Following their second bye week, Alabama took on #10 LSU and Saban improved his record to 5–3 against the Tigers, as Alabama won 38–17. The Crimson Tide then defeated Mississippi State 20–7 in a defensive bout. The win gave Alabama its sixth straight ten-win season, the longest in school history. On Senior day, the Tide knocked off FCS opponent Chattanooga 49–0. Up next was the Iron Bowl, which was hosted by #4 Auburn in a matchup between top five teams. The game was tied 28–28 with only a single second remaining in regulation, as Alabama and Auburn appeared headed for overtime. Extra time wasn't necessary, however, as Saban decided to attempt a 56-yard field goal instead of either running out the clock or attempting a Hail Mary from Auburn's 39-yard line. The decision proved costly, as the field goal was short but caught nine yards deep in the Auburn end zone by the Tigers' Chris Davis, who returned the failed attempt 109 yards for a touchdown as time expired. The 28–34 loss knocked Alabama out of contention for the SEC Championship and dashed The Tide's hope for a national championship. Alabama finished the regular season 11–1 for the third consecutive year and clinched a share with Auburn of the SEC West Division title. At the end of the regular season, Alabama finished ranked #3 in the final BCS rankings and earned an at-large bid to the 2014 Sugar Bowl. Alabama accepted an invitation to play in its third straight BCS bowl game and fifth in Saban's seven seasons at Alabama. In the Sugar Bowl, Alabama lost to #11 Oklahoma 45–31. This was Saban's second bowl loss at Alabama and first since the 2009 Sugar Bowl against Utah. The Tide finished the season at 11–2.


At the start of his sixth season, Alabama came into the season ranked No. 2 in both preseason polls for the second consecutive year. Alabama opened the season at #1 Notre Dame in the first meeting between the schools since 1987, defeating the Irish 42–14 in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game. The win gave Alabama their 15th national championship and their third championship in four years. Alabama won back-to-back national titles for the first time since 1978 and 1979. The title was Saban's fourth national championship and his third with the Crimson Tide, tying him with Wallace Wade for second all-time at Alabama.


At the start of his fifth season, Alabama came into the season ranked No. 2 in the country. In the first game of the season, Alabama defeated Saban's alma mater Bear Bryant from 1977–80. In the Iron Bowl, Alabama defeated Auburn 42–14. This was Saban's third win over the Tigers in four years. On December 4, Alabama was selected to face LSU in the BCS National Championship Game by finishing No. 2 in the final BCS rankings, the first time in college football history that two teams from the same conference (much less the same division of the same conference) played each other for the BCS Championship. In the rematch, Alabama defeated the Tigers 21–0 with a dominating defensive performance, improving Saban's record to 3–3 against Les Miles and his former employer LSU.[39] The win secured Saban his third BCS Championship, his second with Alabama, and the 14th National Championship for the Alabama football team. He is the only coach in college football to win three BCS Championships and the first coach since Tom Osborne to win three National Championships.


At the start of his fourth season, Alabama was overwhelmingly chosen as the preseason No. 1 team in both the AP and Coaches Poll. It was the first time since 1978 that the Crimson Tide started the season ranked #1.[33] In the season opener in front a record crowd of 101,821, Alabama defeated 1979.[37] In the Iron Bowl, Alabama lost to in-state rival (and eventual BCS champions) #2 Auburn 28–27, snapping a 20-game home winning streak. In winning the game Auburn overcame a 24–0 second quarter Alabama lead, thus marking the largest deficit any team had overcome to defeat the Crimson Tide in its football program's history. Alabama was selected to play in the 2011 Capital One Bowl and in their first ever meeting, Alabama defeated #7 Michigan State 49–7 in the largest margin of victory in that bowl game. The bowl victory brought Alabama to 10-3 on the season and secured Alabama's third consecutive 10-win season.[38]

Saban leads the "Walk of Champions" prior to the Iron Bowl.


No. 5 Alabama began Saban's third year by defeating the No. 7 ranked Virginia Tech Hokies in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game, 34–24. The Crimson Tide followed up with wins over Florida International and North Texas. The following week Alabama won its conference opener over Arkansas, 35–7. In its fifth game of the year Alabama beat Kentucky, 38–20. The sixth game of the season featured a hard-fought defensive battle with Bama defeating Ole Miss, 22–3. The seventh game was the same as Alabama defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks, 20–6. The next day, Alabama moved up to No. 1 in the AP poll for the second straight year. The next week Alabama beat Tennessee 12–10, when Terrence Cody blocked Tennessee's game winning field goal attempt with four seconds left, sealing the victory and improving the team's record to 8–0. After a bye week Alabama clinched its second straight SEC West Division Championship by knocking off LSU, 24–15. The next week Alabama defeated Mississippi State, 31–3, securing the second straight 10-win season for Alabama. Following a 45–0 blowout of Chattanooga, on Black Friday, Alabama came from behind to defeat Gene Chizik's Auburn Tigers, 26–21, marking the first time since 1973–1974 Alabama had finished the regular season undefeated in consecutive years, and the first consecutive 12-win seasons. The Crimson Tide defeated the Florida Gators in the SEC Championship, 32–13, in a rematch of the previous year's championship game. The championship represented Alabama's 22nd SEC title and its first since 1999. Saban's Crimson Tide ended the season with a 37–21 victory over the Texas Longhorns in the National Championship to finish a perfect 14–0. The win secured Saban's second national championship and Alabama's 13th, and its first in BCS era. Following the victory over the Longhorns, The University of Alabama announced that it would unveil a statue of Saban in the week prior to the kickoff of the 2010 season. On April 16, 2011, a life-sized bronzed statue of Saban was unveiled at the 2011 A-Day spring game, making him the fifth coach to be immortalized outside the north end zone of Bryant-Denny Stadium.


During his second year as head coach of the Tide, Saban led his team from a sub-par season in 2007 to a perfect 12–0 regular season record. Saban finished the regular season undefeated for the first time in his career as a head coach as he led the Crimson Tide to its first undefeated regular season since 1994. His second season at the Capstone began with a 34–10 victory over the No. 9 ranked Tennessee Volunteers in Knoxville. Following a 35–0 homecoming victory over Arkansas State, the Crimson Tide became No. 1 in all major polls in Week 10—following a loss by No. 1 Texas to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. It was the first time since the 1980 season that Alabama held the top spot during the regular season.[28] The Tide took their No. 1 ranking into Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and came out with a 27–21 overtime victory. With the win, Alabama clinched its first SEC Western Division Championship since 1999 and guaranteed the team a trip to the 2008 SEC championship game. The Tide then improved to 11–0 with a win at home over Mississippi State. To finish the regular season, Bama defeated in-state rival Auburn, 36–0, the largest margin of victory in the series since 1962. It was Alabama's first victory over Auburn since the 2001 season. In the SEC Championship Game, Alabama suffered its first defeat in a 31–20 loss to the SEC Eastern Division Champion Florida Gators (who later won the 2008 BCS Championship), and closed out the season with a 31–17 loss to Utah in the Sugar Bowl[29] to finish the season at 12–2. For his efforts during the season, Saban received several Coach of the Year awards.[30][31][32]


On January 3, 2007, following a meeting with Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, Saban announced that he had accepted an offer to become Alabama's 27th head coach.[26] On January 4, 2007, at a press conference on the Alabama campus, Saban was officially introduced as the head football coach of The University of Alabama. On September 1, 2007, his Crimson Tide opened the season with a 52–6 win over the Western Carolina Catamounts, scoring more points than during any game in the 2006 season. Saban became the fifth Alabama coach since 1900 to start his first season 3–0, earning a win over then-ranked No. 16 Arkansas Razorbacks.[27] Alabama ended the regular season with a 6–6 record, including a four-game losing streak, a particularly humiliating loss at home to Louisiana-Monroe, and a sixth straight loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl. The Tide defeated Colorado in the 2007 Independence Bowl, 30–24, to end the year 7–6.[a]

Saban during the 2007 Alabama-LSU game.



On November 27, 2006, the University of Alabama announced that head coach Mike Shula had been fired. Saban was rumored to be at the top of Alabama's wish list, but Saban refused to discuss the job while his NFL season was still underway.[22] During the month of December 2006, Saban was repeatedly questioned by the media about the Alabama job, and he repeatedly denied the rumors in his weekly press conferences, stating on December 21 "I guess I have to say it. I'm not going to be the Alabama coach." [23][24] Saban did eventually meet with Alabama officials on January 1, 2007,[25] following the Dolphins' season ending loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

  • 2005 – The season and the Nick Saban era officially kicked off with a 34–10 win over the Denver Broncos. From there, however, the Dolphins struggled, losing seven of their next nine games to fall to 3–7. The two wins came over the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints, a game that took place in Tiger Stadium due to Hurricane Katrina. After a frustrating two months, however, the Dolphins would rally late in the season, as they won their final six games, including a win to end the season in Foxboro, Massachusetts over the New England Patriots. The team finished the year 9–7, and narrowly missed the playoffs in Saban's first season.
  • 2006 – Going into the 2006 season, the Dolphins were expected to contend for a playoff spot. The season, however, turned out to be a major disappointment. The Dolphins were considering quarterback Drew Brees, who had just been released from the San Diego Chargers due to a career-threatening shoulder injury and subsequent contract dispute, but instead signed Daunte Culpepper, who was still recovering from a knee injury from the previous season. Culpepper never fully recovered and was ultimately benched after the fourth game of the season, when the Dolphins lost to the Houston Texans. He was eventually put on Injured Reserve. After starting the season 1–6, however, the Dolphins got hot. They won four straight games, including wins over the Chicago Bears, who were previously unbeaten, and made it to the Super Bowl that year, and the Kansas City Chiefs. Suddenly, the Dolphins were back in the playoff hunt at 5–6, but a 24–10 loss the following week to the Jacksonville Jaguars all but ended their playoff hopes. The Dolphins would rebound the following week with a 21–0 win over the New England Patriots. The win would be the last bright spot for the Dolphins in the 2006 season. Quarterback Joey Harrington was eventually benched in favor of third-string quarterback Cleo Lemon. While the defense was very good, the offense was anemic, with the only bright spot being running back Ronnie Brown, who gained over 1,000 rushing yards on the season. The Dolphins would lose their next two games to the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets to finish 6–10, Saban's first losing season as a head coach.

Saban accepted the job of head coach of the Miami Dolphins on December 25, 2004.

Miami Dolphins

  • Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl, which was the host of the BCS Championship Game in 2003. The Tigers won the game 21–14. The win gave LSU the BCS national championship.
  • 2002 – The season opened with high expectations, but a 26–8 loss at the hands of Virginia Tech raised serious questions about their outlook. However, the Tigers would rebound to win their next six straight, but after a mid-season injury to quarterback Matt Mauck, LSU lost four of its last six games to close the season, including a 21-20 loss at Arkansas, which knocked the Tigers out of the SEC Championship Game, and forced them to share the SEC West Division title with the Razorbacks. LSU also suffered a 35–20 loss to Texas in the Cotton Bowl Classic, and finished 8–5.
  • 2001 – Saban led LSU to a 10–3 record, including an SEC Championship and a Sugar Bowl victory. After a loss to the Ole Miss Rebels, the Tigers finished the year with six straight wins, including a win over No. 2 Tennessee in the 2001 SEC Championship Game, and a 47–34 win over Illinois in the 2002 Sugar Bowl. It was the first outright SEC championship for LSU since 1986, and the first time the Tigers had won the Sugar Bowl since 1968.

In November 1999, LSU named Nick Saban their 31st head football coach.[21]


  • 1999 – Saban led the Spartans to a 9–2 season that included wins over Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. However, the two losses were routs at the hands of Purdue and Wisconsin. Following the final regular-season game against Penn State, Saban abruptly resigned to accept the head coaching position with LSU. Saban's assistant head coach and successor, Bobby Williams, then coached MSU to a Citrus Bowl victory over Florida, giving the Spartans an overall record of 10–2 for the 1999 season. It would be the best season in terms of wins for the Spartans since 1965, and it would see the Spartans reach their highest ranking since the 1966 team.[20] Future NFL head coach Josh McDaniels served as a graduate assistant on Saban's 1999 coaching staff.
  • 1998 – On November 7, 1998, the Spartans upset the No. 1 ranked Ohio State 28–24 at Ohio Stadium. However, even after the upset and an early-season rout of then-highly ranked Notre Dame the Spartans finished 6–6, including three last-minute losses featuring turnovers, defensive lapses, and special-teams misplays, and failed to earn a bowl invitation.
  • 1995–1997 – Beginning in 1995, Saban moderately improved MSU's fortunes, taking the Spartans to minor bowl games (all of which they lost by double-digit margins) in each of his first three seasons. From 1995 to 1997, Michigan State finished 6–5–1, 6–6, and 7–5. In comparison, MSU had finished 5–6, 6–6 and 5–6 (prior to NCAA forfeits) in 1992–1994.


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