Following the news that he is retiring after 17 years as Alabama's head coach, it's difficult to argue that any coach has had more success than Nick Saban at the collegiate level. Nick won seven national championships during his time with Alabama, and his team was always competitive at the highest levels of the sport.
Nick told the school that he was retiring on Jan. 10, and following the news, many wondered what was behind the 72-year-old coach's decision. Here's what we know about why Nick chose this moment to leave Alabama behind.
Why did Nick Saban retire?
Nick's final season with Alabama ended with a 27-20 loss to eventual national champion Michigan in overtime in the Rose Bowl. In a statement released following the announcement of his retirement, Nick remarked on how much Alabama had come to mean to him and his wife.
"The University of Alabama has been a very special place to Terry and me," he said. "We have enjoyed every minute of our 17 years being the head coach at Alabama as well as becoming a part of the Tuscaloosa community.”
"It is not just about how many games we won and lost, but it's about the legacy and how we went about it," he continued. "We always tried to do it the right way. The goal was always to help players create more value for their future, be the best player they could be and be more successful in life because they were part of the program. Hopefully, we have done that, and we will always consider Alabama our home."
Nick won six national titles with Alabama, and one before joining the school with LSU. He is the only coach in the history of college football to win national championships with two different schools, and has the record for most national championships by a head coach. Alabama won at least 10 games and finish in the top 10 in the AP's official ranking of college football programs during each of his last 16 years as head coach.
As for why he retired, it seems like, at the age of 72 and with plenty of money from his years and years of success, Nick simply decided he was ready to stop working. He's had an unprecedented level of success at the college level, and he decided that this was the right moment to ride off into the sunset. Alabama was still successful, even up until his very last season with the team, and he'll be leaving Alabama with his legacy fully in tact.
"It has been an incredible run these last 17 years at the University of Alabama and we take with us many amazing memories. We hope that the Saban legacy will be about helping others and making a positive difference in people's lives as well as the winning tradition on the field," Nick's wife Terry said. "Our Nick's Kids Foundation will continue to help children, student, and teacher causes in the State of Alabama."