How long will Nick Saban coach Alabama? What contract extension means for college football
Nick Saban agreed to a three-year extension at Alabama on Monday — a move that could keep the coach with the program until 2029.
Saban, 69, is the third-oldest coach in the FBS. According to the university, Saban’s base salary of $8.4 million will increase with each year through the length of the contract.
If Saban coaches for the length of the extension, then he would be with Alabama for at least eight more seasons. That is bad news for the rest of the FBS. Alabama has been the most successful program in college football since Saban’s arrival in 2007. The Crimson Tide dynasty has stretched through the Bowl Championship Series and College Football Playoff eras.
How long will Saban coach at Alabama? What does that mean for college football? Sporting News takes a closer look.
Nick Saban was the highest-paid coach in the FBS in 2020. According to USA Today, Saban made $9.1 million and had a buyout of $36.8 million.
Saban’s new contract comes with an $8.4M base fee for the 2021 season and will increase each year through 2028. The contract runs through Feb. 28, 2029.
Saban will be 77 years old in 2028. He is the third-oldest coach in the FBS right now behind Ohio’s Frank Solich, 76, and North Carolina’s Mack Brown, who like Saban will turn 70 during the 2021 season.
Joe Paterno was the head coach at Penn State until he was 84 years old. Florida State’s Bobby Bowden coached at Florida State until 2009 and retired when he was 80 years old.
Paterno has the most wins in FBS history with 409. Bowden is second at 377. Saban has 256 wins entering the 2021 season.
Alabama coach Bear Bryant coached until he was 69 years old, and he finished with 323 wins in 38 seasons as a head coach.
Alabama is 170-23 on the field under Saban since 2007, but five of those wins have been vacated for an adjusted record of 165-23. That winning percentage of .877 is the best among FBS schools in that stretch.
The only other schools with a winning percentage better than 80 percent on the field in that stretch are Ohio State (.857), Boise State (.822) and Oklahoma (.801).
Saban passed Bryant by leading Alabama to the national championship in 2020. That gave Saban a record seven national chamiponships as a FBS head coach.
Saban has won six national championships in 14 seasons at Alabama. That included three BCS championships in 2009, 2011 and 2012.
The Crimson Tide have been even more successful in the College Football Playoff era with six CFP appearances, five CFP championship appearances and CFP championships in 2015, 2017 and 2020.
Alabama is ranked No. 1 in Sporting News Preseason Top 25 for 2021 and has the top incoming recruiting class according to 247Sports.com.
The Crimson Tide is 108-16 in SEC play under Saban, and that includes seven conference championships. Saban is 7-1 in SEC championship games at Alabama, with the lone loss coming to Florida in 2008.
There are seven SEC teams ranked in SN’s Preseason Top 25, but all of those programs are tasked with chasing Saban’s program for the rest of the 2020s.
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