Champions of The Round Table

Head Coach: Nick Saban

Head Coach
Fourth Year

Alma Mater:
Kent State, 1973

A man of vision who has a proven record of championship success, University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban has brought to Alabama football a commitment to building the total program.

His uncompromising dedication to excellence in every phase of the football program is sure to yield long-term success for the Crimson Tide as evidenced by Alabama's improvement in year number two. A two-time National Coach of the Year, Saban has achieved resounding success as a head coach and has earned a reputation as an outstanding tactician, leader, organizer and motivator. Those qualities have sparked impressive turnarounds at every stop of his career. His teams have repeatedly exhibited grit, determination and resilience, often overcoming adversity to achieve victory. Saban's consistent approach and disciplined leadership is a proven recipe for success.

Named the 27th head football coach in UA history on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2007, Saban owns an overall record of 125-67-1 (.650) in 15 seasons as a head coach, having also led programs at Louisiana State (LSU), Michigan State and Toledo, as well as in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins. At each of his five stops, he has improved the win-loss record in his first year when compared to the previous season. Prior to Saban's arrival, those teams posted a combined average winning percentage of .387. In the first season with Saban at the helm, a .617 winning percentage was achieved.

Saban has compiled a 110-50-1 (.686) record as a college head coach after completing his first two seasons at The University of Alabama. His first UA team finished 7-6 in 2007, but the 2008 season saw a different Alabama squad take the field. Saban's influence had taken hold in Tuscaloosa, and behind a small and united senior class along with a talented group of newcomers, the Crimson Tide returned to national prominence. The Tide developed a reputation as the most physical football team in the country and methodically dominated the competition.

Saban produced the largest win increase from year one to year two in school history as the Tide went from a seven-win team in 2007 to 12 wins in 2008. Alabama swept through the regular season schedule with a 12-0 record, moving to No. 1 in all of the polls and capturing the SEC Western Division Championship before falling late to Florida in a hard-fought SEC Championship Game. Their efforts earned them a trip to the Allstate Sugar Bowl for the 13th time in school history. Saban was named the 2008 Home Depot Coach of the Year at the ESPN Awards Show in Orlando and won several other national coach of the year honors including the FWAA/Eddie Robinson, AP, Sporting News, Walter Camp,and Liberty Mutual.

Lessons learned from the 2007 season, which was capped with a win over Colorado in the Independence Bowl, no doubt carried over into to spring and summer preparations for the 2008 run. The win also continued an impressive streak for Saban as he has never had a losing season in 13 years as a college head coach. Of the six losses in 2007, none was by more than seven points. Off the field, the focus on academics by Saban and his staff made an immediate impact as the 2007 team put together one of the finest fall semesters in school history. The freshman class set a solid foundation for their future at UA as they led the way with an impressive combined GPA of 3.098 in the fall. In addition to an improvement in the win-loss column from the year prior, the 2008 signing class was rated by many analysts as the best in the country.

Before arriving in Tuscaloosa, Saban's most recent college head coaching stint was a five-season run at LSU which produced a record of 48-16 (.750), one national championship (2003), two Southeastern Conference championships, three SEC West Division championships, and a 3-2 record in bowl games including two Sugar Bowl victories and a Peach Bowl win. The Tigers constructed a 28-12 (.700) record against SEC opponents under Saban's guidance. He was named the 2003 National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press and earned both the Paul W. "Bear" Bryant National Coach of the Year Award and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award by the Football Writers Association of America. Saban was named SEC Coach of the Year twice (by The Birmingham News in 2001 and by the Associated Press in 2003).

Saban took over the Alabama program after serving two seasons at the helm of the Miami Dolphins. Saban's teams showed marked improvement over the unit he inherited. Taking over a team that finished 4-12 in 2004, Saban led the 2005 Dolphins to a 9-7 record, the third-biggest turnaround in the NFL that season and the second-highest victory turnaround for a Dolphins team in any nonstrike season. Most impressively, the Dolphins finished 2005 on a six-game winning streak, the longest streak in the NFL that season.

Prior to his stint at Miami, Saban's impact on the LSU program transcended the success on the field. His commitment to building the total program, placing education first, instilling discipline and responsibility on and off the field transformed the Tigers into a force on the national stage. LSU produced 84 Academic All- SEC honorees in Saban's five seasons, including 25 members of the 2003 national championship squad. LSU's graduation rate for football players improved dramatically under his watch and two players, offensive tackle Rodney Reed (2002 and 2003) and offensive lineman Rudy Niswanger (2004) earned first-team Academic All-America honors. Linebacker Bradie James earned a postgraduate scholarship from the National Football Foundation in 2003.

Saban also spearheaded a $15 million fundraising effort to fund a new academic center for student-athletes at LSU, and he and his players were active in community involvement in the Baton Rouge area, taking part in community service projects, visiting schools to mentor children and taking time to visit local hospitals on a regular basis. More than 50 of Saban's LSU players earned their college degrees, in addition to 28 who were selected in the NFL draft, including seven in both 2004 and 2006.

Named head coach at LSU on Nov. 30, 1999, Saban led an immediate turnaround of a program that had suffered through seven losing seasons during the 1990s. His 48 victories over five seasons were the third-most among Division I-A head coaches during that time. Saban, Paul Dietzel and current LSU head coach Les Miles are the only coaches in the program's history to post multiple 10-win seasons. Saban, Dietzel and Bernie Moore are the only head coaches in Tiger history to win two SEC championships. Saban's 2000 Tigers rebounded from two straight losing seasons to post an 8-4 season, capped by a 31-20 win over 15th-ranked Georgia Tech in the Peach Bowl. Home victories over Tennessee, Mississippi State and Alabama highlighted the season, along with a key road win at Ole Miss.

The 2001 Tigers improved to 10-3 overall and won the program's first outright SEC title since 1986 with a 31-20 win over second-ranked Tennessee in the SEC Championship game. An impressive second half against the Volunteers was a trademark of Saban's coaching acumen as the Tigers outscored UT, 21-3, in the final half to erase a 17-10 deficit. The Tigers won the game despite the absence of starting quarterback Rohan Davey and running back LaBrandon Toefield.

Sparked by one of the most prolific offenses in the nation, a unit that averaged 451.5 yards per game, the Tigers capped the season with a 47-34 defeat of Big Ten champion Illinois in the Sugar Bowl, LSU's first victory in a New Year's Day bowl game since 1968.

Stifling defense was the trademark of the 2002 Tigers. LSU posted an 8-5 record and a second consecutive New Year's Day bowl appearance. The Tigers, who faced Texas in the Cotton Bowl, held opponents to less than 275 yards per game through the season's first six games and scored a school-record 30 or more points in six straight games that season. The Tigers barely missed winning a second consecutive SEC West Division title as a last-minute comeback by Arkansas in the regular season finale prevented LSU from another appearance in the SEC Championship game. That LSU team overcame the mid-season loss of starting quarterback Matt Mauck, free-safety Damien James and Toefield in successive weeks to make a run at an SEC Western Division title.

Saban's philosophy of "out of yourself and into the team" paid huge dividends in 2003. The Tigers produced a 13-1 record, won their second SEC championship and earned the school's second national championship with a squad that was among the nation's most dominant on both sides of the line of scrimmage. The LSU offense scored a school-record 475 points (33.9 points per game) while holding 13-of-14 opponents to less than 20 points. LSU's defense ranked first nationally in points allowed per game (11.0) and total defense (252.0 yards per game). After a 7-1 start, LSU ended the season with six dominating victories by an average margin of 35-10. An impressive 34-13 victory over Georgia in the SEC title game paved LSU's way to an appearance in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Championship Game against top-ranked Oklahoma. The Tigers produced a dominant defensive effort against the Sooners in the Sugar Bowl, limiting OU to 154 yards of total offense in a 21-14 victory.

His final LSU team in 2004 overcame the loss of 13 players from the 2003 team who went on to NFL rosters, posting a 9-3 record while producing the SEC's best rushing offense (200.7 yards per game). The Tiger defense ranked third nationally during the regular season in total defense (249.9 yards per game) and passing defense (145.4 yards per game), allowing only 15.9 points per contest. Over the last six games, the Tiger defense allowed only 12 points in the second half on the way to a berth in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando against Iowa. LSU's fourth consecutive January bowl berth was a first for the Tiger program.

Saban served as head coach at Michigan State from 1995-99, his second stint at the East Lansing school as he also spent 1983-87 as the Spartans' defensive coordinator/secondary coach. After playing in just one bowl game in the previous four years, Michigan State made four postseason appearances in Saban's five years at the helm. Saban led MSU to a 34-24-1 (.585) record.

In 1999, Saban led his final Spartans team to a No. 7 national ranking as MSU finished in a tie for second in the Big Ten. The Spartans defeated Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State in the same year for the first time since 1965 and recorded six wins at home for the first time since the 1912 season. The Spartans' performance that year landed them a spot in the Citrus Bowl. The Spartans led the Big Ten in rushing defense (77.0 yards per game) and total defense (299.0 yards per game) while ranking fifth nationally in rushing defense and 11th in total defense. The Spartans offense averaged 31.0 points per game.

Saban was the first coach in school history to put the Spartans in postseason bowl games in each of his first three seasons as he led the Spartans to the Independence Bowl in 1995, the Sun Bowl in 1996 and the Aloha Bowl in 1997.

Before joining the Spartans, Saban spent four seasons (1991-94) as defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns under head coach Bill Belichick. The Browns went from allowing the most points (462) in the NFL prior to Saban's arrival to allowing the fewest points (204) in the league in 1994, the sixth-fewest points surrendered in NFL history at the time. In each of Saban's four years guiding the Browns' defense, they never permitted an average of more than 19.2 points per game. He built a reputation as one of the finest defensive coaches in the league and also was heavily involved in the team's player personnel and scouting process.

Saban's first head coaching position came at the University of Toledo in 1990, as he guided the Rockets to a record of 9-2 that year, finishing as co-champions of the Mid-American Conference. The Rockets ranked among the NCAA leaders in both total defense (12th at 284.8 yards) and scoring defense (16th at 16.2 points), and missed posting an undefeated record by a mere five points.

Saban joined Toledo after serving as secondary coach with the Houston Oilers for two seasons under Jerry Glanville (1988-89), his first NFL coaching position. He quickly made an impact on the Oilers' defense, as the team's secondary tied for fourth in the AFC in 1988 with 21 interceptions and tied for second in the conference in 1989 with 22.

In his first stint at Michigan State, Saban served as secondary coach and defensive coordinator under George Perles from 1983 through 1987. Saban played an integral part in helping the Spartans to three postseason bowl appearances, including a Big Ten championship in 1987 and a 20-17 victory over Southern California in the 1988 Rose Bowl. Michigan State led the nation in rushing defense in 1987, allowing only 61.2 yards per game, and ranked second in scoring defense, permitting just 12.4 points.

A native of Fairmont, W.Va., Saban is a 1973 graduate of Kent State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in business. He earned a master's degree in sports administration from Kent State in 1975. Born Oct. 31, 1951, Saban and his wife, the former Terry Constable, have two children, Nicholas and Kristen.

Saban co-authored "Tiger Turnaround" in 2001, a book documenting his first two years as head coach at LSU, and co-authored "How Good Do You Want to Be" in 2005, a book that offers real life principles for success at work and at home.

In addition to work as fund-raisers for LSU's Student-Athlete Academic Center, the Sabans supported several charitable and civic projects in Louisiana. The largest of those efforts was with the Children's Miracle Network, for which Terry and Nick raised more than $100,000 per year for children.

At Michigan State, the Saban's started the Nick's Kids Fund, which they have continued in Tuscaloosa, a vibrant example of their continuing concern for disadvantaged children. Since Nick and Terry arrived in Tuscaloosa, more than $1 million has been distributed to approximately 100 charities through the Nick's Kids Fund. In winning the 2008 Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award, Saban was awarded a $50,000 gift at the A-Day Game, which he designated for Nick's Kids, as well as an additional $20,000 gift for the University of Alabama scholarship fund.