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Nick Saban: 'I Sure Plan to Be Here Coaching' At End of New Alabama Contract

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIAugust 26, 2022

Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Alabama football head coach Nick Saban's contract runs through February 2030 after the school's Board of Trustees Compensation Committee agreed to a one-year extension and raise this week.

Saban will be 78 years old when that contract runs out, but he made clear that he plans on coaching through the entire deal in a conversation with ESPN's Chris Low.

"When asked if he would 'still be here' throughout the remainder of his contract extension, Saban had a ready answer," Low wrote.

"Still alive?" Saban joked in reply. "I sure plan to be here coaching."

Saban will turn 71 years old in October, and he noted that he still feels good while recognizing the need to adapt.

"First of all, I feel like a young man, aight? So let's clear that up," Saban said while laughing.

"The 71 ... is a number, just a number, and I still feel like they don't make 'em like they used to, but you have to be flexible. I think that's one of the most important things about competitive sports. You know, the game has changed. The 3-point shot changed basketball. So you either change with it or you fall behind.

"The no-huddle changed football, RPOs [run-pass-option plays] changed football. If you don't sort of study the game and know the impact of these things and use them to your advantage, you're going to just completely get bypassed by a lot of folks."

Saban is now on an eight-year, $93.6 million deal that makes him the highest-paid coach in college football, as measured by annual salary. It's a well-deserved contract for a coach who has won six national championships for Alabama since his arrival in Tuscaloosa in 2007.

It's not uncommon for coaches to stay aboard well into their 70s, and some have even reached their 80s. Of note, Eddie G. Robinson was 78 years old when he left Grambling, and Frank Solich departed Ohio at 76. Bobby Bowden left Florida State at age 80.

Saban's Crimson Tide continuously dominate the top of the rankings, and it doesn't appear that the dynasty will end any time soon.

Alabama has a pair of Heisman Trophy candidates in quarterback Bryce Young (last year's winner) and edge-rusher Will Anderson Jr., who lead a team ranked No. 1 atop the preseason polls.

Saban will begin his 17th season at Alabama (and 28th as a college football head coach) on Sat., Sept. 3, against Utah State.

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