Jan 10, 2024 - Sports

Alabama fans honor retiring coach Nick Saban with oatmeal cream pies

: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide prior to their game against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Auburn, Alabama.

Retiring Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban in Auburn, Alabama, in November. Photo: Michael Chang/Getty Images

Alabama fans flocked to Nick Saban's statue at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa to leave oatmeal cream pies and other tributes after the college football coaching great announced his retirement on Wednesday evening.

The big picture: Saban, who's widely considered one of the greatest college football coaches of all time, said in a statement Wednesday that the University of Alabama "has been a very special place" to the 72-year-old and his wife, Terry.

  • "It is not just about how many games we won and lost, but it's about the legacy and how we went about it," said Saban, who led the Crimson Tide to six national titles during his tenure as head coach.
  • "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."

What they're saying: "Nick Saban is one of the greatest coaches of all time, in any sport, and the University of Alabama is fortunate to have had him leading our football program for the past 17 seasons," said Greg Byrne, Alabama's director of athletics.

"Throughout his career as a head coach, his teams have won seven national championships, 11 conference championships and 312 games, and he's developed an NCAA-record 49 NFL first-round draft picks and, most importantly, hundreds of college graduates. He is the consummate coach, mentor and leader, and his impact is felt far beyond the football field."
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