The college football world was stunned a matter of days after the conclusion of the season. After leading the Alabama Crimson Tide to the College Football Playoff and the Rose Bowl, head coach Nick Saban announced his retirement. The news came out of nowhere, leaving Alabama conducting a quick, high-profile search to find his replacement, which was ultimately filled by former Washington Huskies head coach Kalen DeBoer.
With Saban retired, college football fans wondered what the seven-time national champion with LSU and Alabama will do next. As it turns out, Saban will still be a part of the college football world, but in an entirely different role.
Saban is joining ESPN where he will primarily be an analyst on College GameDay alongside Rece Davis, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, and Pat McAfee next season. Additionally, Saban will help in coverage for the NFL Draft and SEC Media Days.
Nick Saban joining ESPN after retirement from college football
“ESPN and College GameDay have played such an important role in the growth of college football, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to join their team,” said Saban in ESPN's press release. “I’ll do my best to offer additional insights and perspectives to contribute to College GameDay, the ultimate Saturday tradition for college football fans.”
Adding Saban to the College GameDay team and to NFL Draft coverage is huge for the network, given his incredible resume as a head coach at the collegiate level. Saban will be the go-to whenever a Crimson Tide player is drafted by an NFL team.
Saban's final year was a memorable one. Alabama was seemingly out of the CFP picture after losing their second game of the season against the Texas Longhorns. They didn't play well early on. But Alabama did what it normally does during the Saban era, and that was win the important games later in the season. Alabama beat Auburn in the Iron Bowl on a clutch deep touchdown pass by quarterback Jalen Milroe. Then in the SEC Championship Game, the Crimson Tide beat the Georgia Bulldogs 27-24. Alabama handed Georgia their first loss, and prevented any chance of a three-peat as national champions by clinching the No. 4 seed in the Playoff over them.
In the Rose Bowl, Alabama lost 27-20 in overtime to the Michigan Wolverines, who went on to win the CFP National Championship. This would be Saban's final game as a head coach.
Saban holds a 206-29 record as head coach at Alabama. In his entire coaching career with LSU, Michigan State, and Toledo, Saban held a 297-71-1 record.
While Saban's coaching career is done, he isn't done with college football. Now, he will be an analyst and one of the top voices on ESPN.