How long will Nick Saban coach? ESPN insider's prediction will make the rest of the SEC sick
Alabama coach Nick Saban may have received a wakeup call about his post-coaching life on Saturday when a positive COVID-19 test kept him home for the Iron Bowl as the Crimson Tide took on Auburn.
ESPN insider Chris Low spoke to Saban, his wife who the coach calls “Miss Terry,” and Alabama’s head athletic trainer, Jeff Allen, for a story about Saban “Coaching the TV.” During a segment on “The Paul Finebaum Show” on Monday, Low recalled Saban telling him this is the first time he was away from his team since 1973 when his father died.
Low first joked that Saban, 69, may coach another 20 years, but then added, “I don’t know how long Nick Saban is gonna keep coaching, but I’d wager it’s closer to 8 or 9 years than it is to 1 or 2. … “Having a taste of that, and not being a part of (the game), he doesn’t want that to happen again. He’s probably going to coach a lot longer than people think he will.”
The time away from his team was difficult on Saban, as he told Low that the disconnect on Friday left him so miserable that he just drove around in his car with no apparent destination.
Saban is also known for his consistent habits, including eating the same thing for meals. But he changed it up on Saturday, thanks to Miss Terry.
“(Terry) wasn’t into that pregame meal stuff and made hot dogs,” said Saban, a notoriously light eater. “That’s my favorite, man, with chili sauce. She makes homemade chili sauce.”
Saban was his usual animated self during the game, Low reported. He had two TVs side by side with different feeds, the CBS broadcast and then the live feed from different vantage points in the stadium that the coaches use to evaluate and grade the film. The live feed is a few seconds ahead of the TV broadcast.
Saban said he turned the volume from the CBS broadcast down.
“I had it on, but didn’t listen to the commentary,” Saban said. “I didn’t want to listen to them and try to watch both copies of the game. What I didn’t realize is that there’s a little bit of a delay between what’s on TV and the live feed, so I could actually watch the plays twice.
“Sometimes, I’d hear Miss Terry screaming downstairs after the play had already happened.”
But then sometimes he wondered about her reaction.
“When there was a bad play, I was cursing the TV. When there was a good play, she was screaming, so we were kind of polar opposites,” Saban said. “And sometimes, I’d hear her cheering and would wonder, ‘What in the hell is she cheering about?’ “