TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama’s win against Tennessee on Saturday was a reason for celebrating, but it was almost assumed that the Crimson Tide would win. The real victory for fans was the continued reassurance that their fearless leader had no plans of leaving.
A sign in the student section on Saturday said “Saban, we’ll stay for 60 if you stay forever.” This was in reference to Nick Saban’s plea from last week for the fans to stick around during Alabama’s home games, most of which are sealed victories by halftime.
When asked after the game about the fan’s placard, the unsmiling coach actually smiled and said, “Sounds like a good deal to me.”
With the level of success that Saban has attained in his career—especially at Alabama—his name naturally appears in the coaching searches of any high-profile program, NFL or college. Whether it’s the Cleveland Browns, Texas Longhorns, or anyone else, fleeting connections and feeble reasoning arise arguing that Saban should leave Alabama for a chance to win a championship wearing a different logo.
He has accomplished everything short of Bear Bryant’s six national championships at Alabama—he’s only three away from that—and reiterated in his postgame press conference on Saturday that at age 62, he’s not interested in moving.
“I love it here,” Saban said. “I’m too damn old to go some place else and start all over.”
For a man who has acquired every achievement available for a college football coach, Saban doesn’t seem to be bored by winning. If anything, it seems like he wants to maintain the machine that he’s built in Tuscaloosa.
“I’m not really at the stage of my career where I’m looking for some other big sort of challenge,” said Saban. “We’ve got enough challenges right here to try to work with the players that we’ve recruited and try to continue to have a successful program for their personal, academic and athletic success.”
Plus, it sounds like Coach Saban defers to Mrs. Saban when it comes to relocating.
“I don’t make those decisions,” Saban said. “I know Miss Terry (Saban’s wife) likes it here. The fans and the whole Alabama community has really embraced us from the first day we came here and we appreciate that.”
Alabama fans worried about losing their coach to another team can take a deep breath. The only thing they have to worry about is beating LSU and Auburn, and concocting some sort of potion that would make Nick Saban live forever.