Nick Saban Jumps to the Broadcast Booth With ESPN Following Alabama Retirement

After retiring as the Alabama Crimson Tide football head coach, what is next for Nick Saban? Could he turn to a career in the broadcast booth?

Nick Saban will be forever remembered as one of — if not the — greatest head coaches in college football history. His football legacy, the championships, the Alabama Crimson Tide championships, the players developed into superstars, will never be forgotten.

But, what comes next for the legendary head coach? Does a career in the broadcast booth await? Let’s speculate.

Update: It didn’t take long for Saban to return to the game that courses through his veins. As speculated in this original article, the former Alabama head coach will spend his Saturdays in the broadcast studio.

It was reported Wednesday Feb. 7, that the legendary coach is joining ESPN. Saban will work primarily as an analyst on the set of College GameDay, but also will appear on the NFL Draft and SEC Media Days coverage, Adam Schefter reports. 

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What’s Next for Nick Saban

Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, will be a date etched in college football folklore. The day Saban retired as the head coach of the Alabama football program, with seven national championships tucked safely under his arm, will be forever remembered.

Yet, as rumors fly over who might replace him, equal intrigue swirls around what the legendary coach might do with all his free time.

The broadcast booth must surely beckon as the most probable destination for Saban on college football Saturdays.

The game is too deeply rooted in his veins, flowing through his body like the blood as crimson as the Tide he’s represented for 17 years. He simply hasn’t been away from the sport since the minute he first stepped on a football field as a child in Fairmont, West Virginia.

In recent years, he’s become something of a fixture amongst football shows.

Saban has sat alongside the likes of Pat McAfee on College GameDay, spent time on the Paul Finebaum show, and has, throughout his Alabama tenure, been a fixture on the Crimson Tide Sports Network show “Hey Coach and the Nick Saban Show”, giving insight into the Alabama football program.

In many respects, Saban has the perfect ingredients to be a top-tier analyst in the broadcast booth. Naturally, his football knowledge is second to none. That’s a given. Yet, he’s also demonstrated the personality, a dry wit that you wouldn’t always expect from his steely sideline demeanor, that resonates in the booth.

MORE: Nick Saban Retires as Alabama Head Coach 

As ESPN prepares to take over the full broadcast rights, with the previous CBS slate featuring on ABC from 2024, what bigger coup and marketing campaign than to have the former Alabama coach commentating on games this fall?

There’d be something goosebump-inducing about hearing Saban call a big play in a Crimson Tide game.

Of course, after 50 years as a coach, not to mention the time spent as a player at Kent State and state championship-winning quarterback, Saban may simply seek a break from the sport. He turned 72 during the 2023 college football season, which is way past retirement age for most normal professions. Furthermore, he has noted interests away from the game.

In 1998, Nick and Terry Saban established the “Nick’s Kids Foundation” which helps raise funds to help support children’s needs. Their mission is “to work together in the spirit of faith and giving in our community. To promote and support children, family, teacher and student causes.”

MORE: Nick Saban Trickle Down Effect

Since its inception, the foundation has raised over $11 million for causes and projects that include the Tuscaloosa County Juvenile Detention Center, the Tuscaloosa All-Inclusive Playground, and the YMCA of Tuscaloosa. Saban might simply swap football on Saturdays for sharing his time with those that need it. Whatever he does, his impact has been felt both on and off the field.

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