College Football World Reacts to Nick Saban’s Retirement From Alabama

    High-profile college coaches, NFL insiders, and past Alabama players joined in the nationwide praise for the newly retired Nick Saban.

    Nick Saban became known as a walking headline for 17 seasons with the Alabama Crimson Tide. From national title victories to quotes, Saban grabbed eyes and ears.

    But on Wednesday afternoon, Saban retired from coaching.

    The legendary head coach, who claimed six national championships in Tuscaloosa, made the stunning decision to call it a coaching career. And his decision sparked a bevy of reactions across the internet.

    “One of the Greatest Runs” Comes to an End

    ESPN’s Chris Low was the first to report the stunner out of Tuscaloosa.

    “One of the greatest runs in college football history is over,” Low posted on X (formerly known as Twitter.

    Saban’s Alabama teams became a heavy follow for national recruiting website On3. Senior national recruiting analyst Gerry Hamilton described Saban’s run in the same breath as one legendary college basketball head coach.

    “Will be as tough of an act to follow as there has been in college sports since John Wooden in the three major sports,” Hamilton posted, referencing the iconic UCLA men’s basketball head coach who spearheaded 10 national title runs in Westwood.

    Even NFL reporters reacted to the news, with ESPN’s Field Yates anointing Saban as the greatest of all time.

    Scott Van Pelt, who has interviewed Saban in the past for his ESPN late show, was another who chimed in.

    “On Nick Saban, there was a bit of quiet chatter this could be coming, but when it does, it’s still a stunner. The unexpected domino that falls means some big-time program is losing its coach who didn’t have any idea that was even possible. An all-time legendary run in T-Town,” Van Pelt shared to his X account.

    Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network was one who admitted being around Saban, while sometimes unsettling, made him a better reporter.

    “Covering Nick Saban was the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. We battled. He made me a better reporter. I made him mad. It ended with mutual respect and some laughs. It was three years I’ll never forget. Fortunate to experience the greatest college coach ever,” Rapoport shared.

    Deion Sanders Reacts, Drops a ‘Wow’ Response

    Saban’s retirement decision wasn’t just limited to the analysts who covered him. Coaches who shared the spotlight with him also reacted.

    And one high-profile college football head coach reacted to the news: Deion Sanders of Colorado.

    MORE: Five Candidates To Replace Legendary Head Coach at Alabama

    “WOW! College Football just lost the GOAT to retirement. WOW! I knew it would happen one day soon but not this soon. The game has change so much that it chased the GOAT away. College football let’s hold up our mirrors and say HONESTLY what you see,” Sanders posted on his X account.

    Sanders also earned a history with Saban. He got to know the longtime CFB head coach through their endorsement deal with Aflac — starring in commercials that grew popular during the college football season.

    Former Alabama Players and Ex-Rival HC React to News

    Lastly, those who got to know Saban on a more personal level got their chance to react to the news. His former players.

    One was Saban’s first Heisman Trophy winner at Alabama in running back Mark Ingram.

    “Coach Saban is the GOAT!! Thanks for believing in a young man from Flint, Michigan. Helped me become a champion on the field, but more importantly a champion in LIFE. Enjoy retirement Coach, you earned that!! Love you Coach Saban, ROLL TIDE!!” Ingram posted along with an image of their first national title run together in 2010.

    Linebacker Dont’a Hightower won two national titles with Saban. He sent his congratulations.

    “Enjoy retirement Nicky my boy! Hell of a damn coaching career. Thanks for helping so many young men reach their goals and dreams,” Hightower shared.

    Some former Saban players, though, offered a humorous response. Marlon Humphrey of the Baltimore Ravens cracked this joke.

    “I would have been in that portal so fast after I heard Saban retiring lol,” Humphrey posted.

    Former Tide running back Kenyan Drake shared five words and a photo.

    And Saban’s retirement brought up some praise and gratitude for even his past rivals. Former Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, now at Central Florida, shared this online.

    “It was a true honor to coach against you throughout the years. Enjoy your retirement!” Malzahn said.

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