Nick Saban Feb 17, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide former head football coach Nick Saban looks on during a basketball game between Alabama and the Texas A&M Aggies at Coleman Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban is learning how to live the parts of life he missed when he was busy prowling the sidelines at Alabama.

The 72-year-old Saban told ESPN recently he missed a lot of things through the years, working tirelessly as a coach who won seven national championships, six of them with the Crimson Tide.

So now Saban, who retired from coaching in January, is catching up on life, even as he prepares for his new role as an ESPN analyst. He’ll work on the network’s upcoming NFL Draft coverage, then handle roles as an analyst on College GameDay and with SEC football coverage.

In a wide-ranging interview with, Saban said he’s been preparing for the draft, watching tape and reviewing players. Even with his draft prep, he’s found time to unwind from the legendarily busy schedule he kept in Tuscaloosa.

He admits it hasn’t been easy to slow down.

“The biggest change for me as a person is that I lived my whole life for the last 50 years being in a hurry,” Saban said. “It was, ‘Hurry up to go here. Hurry up to go there. Don’t be late for this meeting. You’ve got another meeting in an hour. What are you going to say to the staff? What are you going to say to the team?’

“I mean, it was just deadline after deadline after deadline. Even when I was driving to the lake to go on vacation, I’d be in a hurry, and for what? But that’s just how you were built.”

Now he has more time for family, including his wife of 52 years, Terry. She even composed a letter for him, “The Ten Commandments of Retirement,” outlining what he could expect. At Alabama, Saban had assistants available to handle routine chores. Now Saban is learning to fend for himself.

“He’s actually texting and reading his own emails and sent his first-ever email,” Terry Saban told ESPN. “He even took his first trip to the pharmacy to pick up his first prescription. He’s actually quite proud of himself.”

Don’t let Saban’s lack of tech-savvy fool you. He knows football like few others and is ready for his new ESPN gig. While some media professionals think he’s better suited for work as a game analyst, College GameDay host Rece Davis recently said on the show’s podcast, ‘I don’t have any doubt’ that Saban will thrive on College GameDay.”

Yet even in retirement, Saban will keep his finger on the pulse of Alabama football. He will maintain a small office on campus, not in his old location in the team’s facility, but in Bryant-Denny Stadium. He vows he’ll keep his distance.

“I want to bring the least amount of attention to me being around here as possible,” Saban said. “So I want to be supportive. I want to be helpful, but I don’t want to be looking over anybody’s shoulder.”


About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.