After fifty years as a coach, many of those spent coaching at the very highest level of college football, legendary head coach Nick Saban has retired. Considered by many to be the greatest head coach in the history of the sport, how many College Football National Championships did Saban win during his storied career?
Amongst a list of accolades as long as the roots of a coaching tree cultivated over many years, Saban has won seven national championships as a head coach.
His first came with the LSU Tigers in 2003, followed by an unprecedented period of success with the Alabama Crimson Tide. His final national championship came in 2020.
Although the majority of his success came during his time in Tuscaloosa, the 2003 LSU team kick-started his success as a head coach. The 13-1 Tigers defeated the Oklahoma Sooners in the Sugar Bowl to give the legendary head coach his first title in what was then the BCS Championship era.
After spending two seasons in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, Saban returned to college football in 2007 to begin what would become as close to a dynasty in the sport as you’re ever likely to find.
Just two years after arriving in Tuscaloosa, the former Kent State defensive back delivered a national championship to the Crimson Tide after defeating the Texas Longhorns in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game.
After missing out on the title in the 2010 college football campaign, Saban delivered back-to-back national championships to Tuscaloosa in 2011 and 2012 — with the latter giving him the second-most titles in Crimson Tide history.
Remarkably, Alabama had to wait another three years for the fifth title under Saban, with the 14-1 Crimson Tide edging Clemson 45-30 in the head coach’s first national championship of the College Football Playoff era.
After missing out on the national championship in 2016, Saban tied the great Bear Bryant with a sixth title in 2017. Alabama took down the Georgia Bulldogs with a Tua Tagovailoa to DeVonta Smith overtime touchdown that spawned the iconic “the Crimson Tide, will not be denied” call that came to epitomize the program under the stewardship of their storied head coach.
Saban’s final national championship came amongst the disruption of the global pandemic and could be considered his greatest of them all. The undefeated Crimson Tide navigated an all-SEC schedule before obliterating the Ohio State Buckeyes in the title game.
Poetically, it was just his second undefeated season and the seventh national championship of his career saw him surpass Bryant for the most titles of all time.
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