Nick Saban can deny as much as he wants, but the NFL rumors will only continue to spread until the 65 year old Alabama head coach retires.
“David Shaw and Chris Petersen are not coming out now. No idea if Nick Saban would. Stanford and Washington needn’t be worried about the head coaches they love. But I keep wondering how many national titles it will take for Saban to think it might be time to look around, particularly at age 65. What happens if Jim Irsay does more than wonder why his team just won eight games with Andrew Luck at quarterback, and why so many of those eight were fights to the death against the Jacksonvilles of the league? Indy is not Tuscaloosa, but it might be small enough to appeal to Saban and his wife. The Colts’ quarterback certainly would. I’ll always think that’s the thing Saban looks back on with regret—not stretching to sign Drew Brees, coming off shoulder surgery, in Miami in 2006.”
Saban is on the cusp of winning his fifth national championship (fourth at Alabama), leaving few challenges for the coach who’s made winning a common action since returning to the college ranks.
“I guess there was a time when I said, ‘O.K. if you win a national championship in college, because I was a pro coach for however many years I was, it’s time to go win the Super Bowl. That would make my career complete,” Saban told Emily Kaplan of TheMMQB.com. “But when I did that, I found out that I missed some of these things about college that were really important to me. So you learn about yourself. I just decided when I came back here, I wasn’t going to think about that any more. . . . I used to think at the end of the day, being a head coach in the NFL was the No. 1 thing. But when I got to that, it was like, ‘Well maybe you already had the No. 1 thing for you and what you like.’”
Saban coached two miserable seasons with the Miami Dolphins, registering a 15-17 record before exiting back to the college football world. He’s had plenty of other teams call in recent years, including a reported convo with the New York Giants.
You can never say never, but at age 65, it’s tough to imagine he’ll be coaching much longer. Many could claim Steve Spurrier coached well past his prime, retiring at age 70 last season. And we’re near certain Saban would never want to get to a point where he completely lost control of his program.