Alabama Crimson Tide extend football coach Nick Saban's deal through 2028 season

Nick Saban, who has led Alabama's football program to six national championships, has been rewarded with a contract extension that will take him through the Crimson Tide's 2028 season, the university announced Monday.

The new agreement will extend his current contract by three seasons to eight years. Saban is set to make $8.425 million this coming season, and his new deal will include annual increases in salary that sources told ESPN would take his average annual salary to more than $10 million over the life of the contract. As part of Saban's new deal, he will receive a contract completion benefit of $800,000 payable at the end of the 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025 contract years.

Saban, entering his 15th season at Alabama, has won three of the past six national titles. He also won a national title at LSU in 2003. His total of seven national titles is the most in college football history.

In a statement, Saban said he and his wife, Terry, "are pleased and happy to sign another contract extension that will keep us in Tuscaloosa through the end of our career."

"Our family calls Tuscaloosa and the state of Alabama home, it's a place where our roots now run deep. This agreement gives us the chance to continue to impact the lives of the young men and their families who choose to play football and get an education at Alabama," he said.

Saban, who will turn 70 in October, told ESPN last season that retirement has yet to even cross his mind and that he plans to coach as long as he's "physically able and making a positive impact on the players and the program."

Saban added to ESPN, "I don't know what the hell I would do if I wasn't coaching. I don't even want to imagine it."

When Saban was forced to watch the Iron Bowl matchup with Auburn from his home on television last season after contracting COVID-19, several close to him suggested that the whole experience of being away from the game for such an important week only underscored that there was no end in sight to his coaching career. Veteran head athletic trainer Jeff Allen, the only member of Saban's football staff who has been at Alabama since Saban arrived in 2007, joked to ESPN, "He may never quit coaching. This experience only reinforces that."

"Nick ain't thinking about retiring, not even close," former Florida and South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier told ESPN just before the 2019 season. "He can go into his 70s easy, and I think he will.

"I told him he won't retire until he loses three games in a season. He told me, 'If I ever lose three games around here again, they might kill me.' I think he was joking, but I'm not sure."

Saban's overall record at Alabama is 170-23 (.881). His six national championship teams with Alabama have gone 21-2 against top-10 opponents, and Alabama has been ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press poll for at least one week for 13 straight years, surpassing the record of seven established by Miami (1986-92).

Going back to the start of the 2014 season, Saban is 59-5 against SEC opponents. Alabama hasn't lost to a team ranked outside the AP poll since Saban's first season in 2007 when the Crimson Tide lost to Louisiana Monroe.

"Coach Saban is the best college football coach in the nation and one of the greatest coaches of all time in any sport, and we are extremely fortunate that he has agreed to another contract extension at Alabama," athletic director Greg Byrne said. "... Not only has the impact been felt here at the university, but throughout the community and the state thanks to all he and Ms. Terry have done through the Nick's Kids Foundation and beyond. They are incredible people, and we are very thankful to have them around for many years to come."

Since arriving in Tuscaloosa in 2007, Nick and Terry Saban have raised nearly $10 million for charitable causes through the Nick's Kids Foundation. Following the devastating 2011 tornado, they teamed up with Habitat for Humanity to help rebuild a total of 13 homes and have added a house for each of the Tide's five national titles since for a total of 18 houses.

Saban has reiterated to ESPN over the years that there are "no other horizons for me" in coaching and has repeatedly ruled out a return to the NFL.