Nick Saban is 66 years old and a good bit older than some of his top competitors, such as Dabo Swinney(48), Kirby Smart(42) and Lincoln Riley(34). But that doesn’t mean that the legendary Alabama coach is any closer to retiring.
Saban, who is coming off his fifth national championship in nine seasons at Alabama, emphatically put down any idea of him stepping away anytime soon.
“That’s what everybody keeps saying, that I’m not going to be doing this for much longer, and all the people who say it have no idea what I’m going to do,” Saban told ESPN’s Chris Low. “I’ve been involved in some fashion with football and being a part of a football team ever since I can remember. I don’t know what it would be like not doing it, and don’t want to know.”
Another legendary SEC coach who recently retried, Steve Spurrier, also spoke with Low about how much longer Saban could end up coaching. And the former Florida and South Carolina coach sees Saban coaching in Tuscaloosa for a good bit longer.
“Nick ain’t thinking about retiring, not even close,” Spurrier said. “He can go into his 70s easy, and I think he will.”
Spurrier himself retired when he was 70 years old. But South Carolina had clearly started to slide, as the Gamecocks went 7-6 in his final full season and South Carolina got off to a 2-4 start in 2015 before he stepped away. He also offered up this gem of a quote.
“I told him he won’t retire until he loses three games in a season. He told me, ‘If I ever lose three games around here again, they might kill me.’ I think he was joking, but I’m not sure.”
Alabama has only lost three games in a season once since Saban took over, and that was back in 2010. In the past 3 seasons, Saban has lost a total of 3 times, while racking up 41 wins and two more national titles in that span.
Saban is hardly the first coach to coach into his late 60’s and possible 70’s. Joe Paterno of Penn State and Bobby Bowden of Florida State coached into their 80’s.
The Crimson Tide are getting ready to open up spring practice. The Crimson Tide will open the 2018 season against Louisville on Sept. 1 in Orlando, Fla. Alabama will likely be the No. 1 or No. 2 team in the country to open the season. And Saban is just as focused as ever on winning another title this coming season.
“I don’t base being successful on what the standard is on the outside,” Saban said. “I agree that the expectation is that we have to win the national championship every year. That’s what it’s become here. But I don’t think having a good program necessarily is totally relevant to how many national championships you win.”
The post Nick Saban puts down retirement talks, Steve Spurrier sees him coaching into his 70s ‘easy’ appeared first on SEC Country.
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