May 18, 2017
Nick Saban is a living legend. In 2011, he was honored with a statue in front of the University of Alabama’s Bryant- Denny Stadium in honor of his rst na- tional title in 2009. Three more national titles and a recent contract extension through the 2024 season have set Sa- ban’s legacy on an uncharted course.
It remains to be seen if he will put in seven more years at Alabama, but one thing is certain—whether it is 2017 or 2024—Nick Saban is the best coach in college football history.
His success surpasses that of Bear Bryant, another Alabama coaching leg- end considered one of the best in NCAA history. Saban and Bryant are the only two coaches to win ve national cham- pionships in the AP poll era, dating back to the 1930’s, but Saban accomplished the feat in 17 less seasons.
Saban was a highly regarded and successful head coach in his stints at Michigan State and LSU, including win- ning a national championship in Baton Rouge, but his accolades and achieve- ments over the last decade at Alabama make him worthy of the distinction as the best to ever do it.
His current run of success with the Crimson Tide over the last 10 seasons is simply astounding and unmatched by any coach in college football history. After his rst season in Tuscaloosa back in 2007, Saban has won no fewer than 10 games in each of his last nine seasons.
In the 10 years prior to Saban, Ala- bama managed a pedestrian 67-55 re- cord. During Saban’s tenure they are the winningest team in College Football at 119-19, nearly doubling their win total from the previous decade.
Four out of the last ve SEC titles, which is widely considered the toughest conference to win in collegiate football, have gone to Saban and the Tide. In nine straight seasons, Alabama has reached the number one ranking in the country, a feat no team has ever accomplished. In the midst of last year’s dominance, Saban passed the legendary Bobby Bowden for most games as head coach of a No.1 ranked team. Obviously, very few coaches have ever been able to win games like Saban, but his success as a recruiter may never be replicated.
Since Saban has been in charge, Ala- bama has had a top-5 recruiting class every single year— nishing with the number one class in the country for an eighth time in 2017. Even more to his credit, once Saban gets his hands on all that youthful and raw talent, he will successfully develop them into NFL players at an elite level.
Saban has seen more players draft- ed into the NFL under him than any NCAAF coach since 2010, including 21 in the rst-round. There’s a reason Alabama is the premier destination for future NFL talent.
The list of his accomplishments is seemingly endless, but his rare mix of stoicism, intensity and wisdom leading collegiate athletes is just as amazing. The 65-year-old icon commands more excellence from his team than any of his counterparts and he is not slowing down. If he stays at Alabama for the next eight years of his contract, Nick Saban may not just go down as the best college football coach of all-time, but one of the best coaches in any sport ever.
Ben Epstein is a senior finance major.