Kristen gives unique insight into father Nick Saban's final campaign in Alabama before shocking retirement: "Felt different this past season"

Former Alabama HC Nick Saban and his daughter Kristen Saban
Former Alabama HC Nick Saban and his daughter Kristen Saban

Former Alabama coach Nick Saban has been a stalwart of college football for over three decades but speculation about his retirement started dogging him a few years ago. He finally shocked the football community with his sudden retirement in January.

His daughter Kristen Saban was one of the pillars of his tenure as coach of the Crimson Tide with her passionate support for her father and the program, and Bama fans decried her loss as the coach's daughter when Nick Saban retired.

During an episode of "The Next Round," Kristen Saban revealed that the issue around her father's retirement had always been a contentious one and had always cropped up repeatedly, but that last season had all the signs pointed towards it.

“Every year, we treat every year, especially the last five to 10 years of, you know, he might. He’s talked about it before,” Kristen Saban said. “Maybe about five years ago he was like, ‘Oh, this might be the year.’ And then it wasn’t. And five years later he keeps going. So we kind of treat it every year like it could be the last. But it just kind of felt different this past season.”

How Kristen Saban found out about Nick Saban's retirement

Most coaches and athletes usually share big news about their jobs with their families and teams first but Nick Saban is not just any other sports personality and his retirement was unique.

Perhaps the only person who had an inkling about the decision was his wife, Terry Saban. Not even his daughter Kristen, who was headed to Disney World with her son had a clue.

During an episode of "The Next Round," Kristen revealed how she found out that Nick Saban would be retiring.

“So that morning I kind of got a little heads up. … My mom was like, ‘You know, maybe. Maybe not. But don’t be surprised if you see something.’ And later that afternoon I was on a plane to Orlando with my son to go to Disney World, and I had just bought the Southwest Wifi. And my phone is just blowing up. And I’m like, ‘Oh my God, what’s going on?’” Kristen Saban said.
“I’m on the plane. I can’t text anybody. I can’t call anybody. And so I’m like, ‘OK, are you doing this? Am I finding out on Instagram on my way to Disney World?"

Kristen and Nick Saban have continued to appear at Alabama Crimson Tide events as both father and daughter continue to live in Tuscaloosa even after leaving their post as the first family of Alabama football.

Edited by Sam Nestler
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