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Nick Saban

Nick Saban
Nick Saban 09 Practice.jpg
Saban at an Alabama practice in 2009
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Alabama
Conference SEC
Record 114–19
Annual salary US$6.9 million
Biographical details
Born (1951-10-31) October 31, 1951 (age 65)
Fairmont, West Virginia
Playing career
1970–1972 Kent State
Position(s) Defensive back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1973–1974 Kent State (GA)
1975–1976 Kent State (LB)
1977 Syracuse (OLB)
1978–1979 West Virginia (DB)
1980–1981 Ohio State (DB)
1982 Navy (DB)
1983–1987 Michigan State (DC/DB)
1988–1989 Houston Oilers (DB)
1990 Toledo
1991–1994 Cleveland Browns (DC)
1995–1999 Michigan State
2000–2004 LSU
2005–2006 Miami Dolphins
2007–present Alabama
Head coaching record
Overall 205–61–1 (college)
15–17 (NFL)
Bowls 11–9
Accomplishments and honors
5 National (2003, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015)
1 MAC (1990)
7 SEC (2001, 2003, 2009, 2012, 2014–2016)
10 SEC Western Division (2001–2003, 2008, 2009, 2012–2016)
2× AP National Coach of the Year (2003, 2008)
Paul "Bear" Bryant Award (2003)
Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year (2003, 2008)
Home Depot Coach of the Year Award (2008)
Walter Camp Coach of the Year (2008)
Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award (2008)
Sporting News Coach of the Year (2008)
Amos Alonzo Stagg Coaching Award (2010)
Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award (2014)
SEC Coach of the Year (2003, 2008, 2009, 2016)

Nicholas Lou Saban Jr. (/sbən/; born October 31, 1951) is an American football coach who has been the head football coach at the University of Alabama since 2007. Saban previously served as head coach of the National Football League's Miami Dolphins and three other universities: Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Toledo. His initial eight-year contract totaling US$32 million made him one of the highest-paid football coaches, professional or collegiate, in the United States at the time. He appeared on the September 1, 2008, cover of Forbes magazine as "The Most Powerful Coach in Sports". Saban's career record as a college head coach is 205–61–1.

Saban led the LSU Tigers to the BCS National Championship in 2003 and the Alabama Crimson Tide to BCS and AP national championships in 2009, 2011, 2012, and the College Football Playoff championship in 2015. He became the first coach in college football history to win a national championship with two different Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools since the inception of the AP Poll in 1936. Saban and Bear Bryant are the only coaches to win an SEC championship at two different schools. In May 2013, he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Toledo Rockets (Mid-American Conference) (1990)
1990 Toledo 9–2 7–1 T–1st
Toledo: 9–2 7–1
Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten Conference) (1995–1999)
1995 Michigan State 6–5–1 4–3–1 5th L Independence
1996 Michigan State 6–6 5–3 5th L Sun
1997 Michigan State 7–5 4–4 6th L Aloha
1998 Michigan State 6–6 4–4 6th
1999 Michigan State 9–2* 6–2 T–2nd Invited to Citrus* 9* 9*
Michigan State: 34–24–1 23–16–1 * Saban resigned before bowl game.
LSU Tigers (Southeastern Conference) (2000–2004)
2000 LSU 8–4 5–3 3rd (Western) W Peach 22
2001 LSU 10–3 5–3 1st (Western) W Sugar 8 7
2002 LSU 8–5 5–3 T–2nd (Western) L Cotton
2003 LSU 13–1 7–1 1st (Western) W Sugar 1 2
2004 LSU 9–3 6–2 2nd (Western) L Capital One 16 16
LSU: 48–16 28–12
Alabama Crimson Tide (Southeastern Conference) (2007–present)
2007 Alabama 2–6 1–4 T–3rd (Western) W Independence
2008 Alabama 12–2 8–0 1st (Western) L Sugar 6 6
2009 Alabama 14–0 8–0 1st (Western) W BCS NCG 1 1
2010 Alabama 10–3 5–3 4th (Western) W Capital One 11 10
2011 Alabama 12–1 7–1 2nd (Western) W BCS NCG 1 1
2012 Alabama 13–1 7–1 1st (Western) W BCS NCG 1 1
2013 Alabama 11–2 7–1 T–1st (Western) L Sugar 8 7
2014 Alabama 12–2 7–1 1st (Western) L Sugar 4 4
2015 Alabama 14–1 7–1 1st (Western) W Cotton, W CFP NCG 1 1
2016 Alabama 14–1 8–0 1st (Western) W Peach, L CFP NCG 2 2
Alabama: 114–19 66–12
Total: 205–61–1
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, BCS, or CFP / New Years' Six bowl.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
Team Year Regular Season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
MIA 2005 9 7 0 .563 2nd in AFC East
MIA 2006 6 10 0 .375 4th in AFC East
MIA Total 15 17 0 .469
Total 15 17 0 .469

  • 1995–1997‍—‌Beginning in 1995, Saban moderately improved MSU's fortunes, taking the Spartans to minor bowl games (all of which they lost by double-digit margins) in each of his first three seasons. From 1995 to 1997, Michigan State finished 6–5–1, 6–6, and 7–5. In comparison, MSU had finished 5–6, 6–6 and 5–6 (prior to NCAA forfeits) in 1992–1994.
  • 1998‍—‌On November 7, 1998, the Spartans upset the No. 1 ranked Ohio State 28–24 at Ohio Stadium. However, even after the upset and an early-season rout of then-highly ranked Notre Dame the Spartans finished 6–6, including three last-minute losses featuring turnovers, defensive lapses, and special-teams misplays, and failed to earn a bowl invitation.
  • 1999‍—‌Saban led the Spartans to a 9–2 season that included wins over Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State. However, the two losses were routs at the hands of Purdue and Wisconsin. Following the final regular-season game against Penn State, Saban abruptly resigned to accept the head coaching position with LSU. Saban's assistant head coach and successor, Bobby Williams, then coached MSU to a Citrus Bowl victory over Florida, giving the Spartans an overall record of 10–2 for the 1999 season. It would be the best season in terms of wins for the Spartans since 1965, and it would see the Spartans reach their highest ranking since the 1966 team. Future NFL head coach Josh McDaniels served as a graduate assistant on Saban's 1999 coaching staff.
  • 2000‍—‌In 2000, the Tigers went 8–4 and won the Peach Bowl. The season was somewhat marred by several lopsided losses, including a 34–17 loss to the Auburn Tigers, a 13–10 loss to the UAB Blazers, and a 41–9 loss to the Florida Gators.
  • 2001‍—‌Saban led LSU to a 10–3 record, including an SEC Championship and a Sugar Bowl victory. After a loss to the Ole Miss Rebels, the Tigers finished the year with six straight wins, including a win over No. 2 Tennessee in the 2001 SEC Championship Game, and a 47–34 win over Illinois in the 2002 Sugar Bowl. It was the first outright SEC championship for LSU since 1986, and the first time the Tigers had won the Sugar Bowl since 1968.
  • 2002‍—‌The season opened with high expectations, but a 26–8 loss at the hands of Virginia Tech raised serious questions about their outlook. However, the Tigers would rebound to win their next six straight, but after a mid-season injury to quarterback Matt Mauck, LSU lost four of its last six games to close the season, including a 21–20 loss at Arkansas, which knocked the Tigers out of the SEC Championship Game, and forced them to share the SEC West Division title with the Razorbacks. LSU also suffered a 35–20 loss to Texas in the Cotton Bowl Classic, and finished 8–5.
  • 2003‍—‌The Tigers started the season with five wins, including a 17–10 victory in Tiger Stadium over the defending SEC champion, and then undefeated, Georgia Bulldogs. LSU lost the following week to Florida, 19–7. After the loss to Florida, LSU did not lose again in the regular season and ended its regular season with a win over the Arkansas Razorbacks to win the SEC West. After winning the SEC West, the Tigers defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. They were ranked No. 2 in the BCS standings and advanced to play the BCS No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl, which was the host of the BCS Championship Game in 2003. The Tigers won the game 21–14. The win gave LSU the BCS national championship and a 13–1 finish for the season.
  • 2004‍—‌LSU finished the season 9–3, after losing to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Capital One Bowl 30–25 on a final play touchdown pass. Other losses that season were on the road at Auburn 10–9, and a loss on the road to Georgia 45–16. At the end of the 2004 season, Saban left LSU to coach the Miami Dolphins.
  • 2005‍—‌The season and the Nick Saban era officially kicked off with a 34–10 win over the Denver Broncos. From there, however, the Dolphins struggled, losing seven of their next nine games to fall to 3–7. The two wins came over the Carolina Panthers and the New Orleans Saints, a game that took place in Tiger Stadium due to Hurricane Katrina. After a frustrating two months, however, the Dolphins would rally late in the season, as they won their final six games, including a win to end the season in Foxboro, Massachusetts over the New England Patriots. The team finished the year 9–7, and narrowly missed the playoffs in Saban's first season.
  • 2006‍—‌Going into the 2006 season, the Dolphins were expected to contend for a playoff spot. The season, however, turned out to be a major disappointment. The Dolphins were considering quarterback Drew Brees, who had just been released from the San Diego Chargers due to a career-threatening shoulder injury and subsequent contract dispute, but instead signed Daunte Culpepper, who was still recovering from a knee injury from the previous season. Culpepper never fully recovered and was ultimately benched after the fourth game of the season, when the Dolphins lost to the Houston Texans. He was eventually put on Injured Reserve. After starting the season 1–6, however, the Dolphins got hot. They won four straight games, including wins over the Chicago Bears, who were previously unbeaten, and made it to the Super Bowl that year, and the Kansas City Chiefs. Suddenly, the Dolphins were back in the playoff hunt at 5–6, but a 24–10 loss the following week to the Jacksonville Jaguars all but ended their playoff hopes. The Dolphins would rebound the following week with a 21–0 win over the New England Patriots. The win would be the last bright spot for the Dolphins in the 2006 season. Quarterback Joey Harrington was eventually benched in favor of third-string quarterback Cleo Lemon. While the defense was very good, the offense was anemic, with the only bright spot being running back Ronnie Brown, who gained over 1,000 rushing yards on the season. The Dolphins would lose their next two games to the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets to finish 6–10, Saban's first losing season as a head coach.
  • ^Saban's on-the-field record in 2007 was 7–6 (4–4 SEC). The NCAA ruled that Alabama must vacate 21 victories due to sanctions stemming from textbook-related infractions. The infractions, and 16 of the vacated victories, began under previous coach Mike Shula, and continued until they were discovered during the 2007 season, Saban's first at Alabama, and thus the official NCAA record for that year reflects a 2–6 mark.


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