NCAA

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban Rakes in an Insane Salary

One of the most successful college football programs is Alabama. The school just won their 18th national title when they defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes. Much of their most recent success is in part to head coach Nick Saban.

Under Saban, the Crimson Tide have won six National Championships and seven SEC titles. He continually brings in high caliber players through his recruitment tactics that make Alabama one of the top teams year after year. Because of Alabama’s achievements, Saban brings in a pretty large salary, but just how much does he make, and is he worth it?

Nick Saban’s legendary football career

For Saban, a football coaching career wasn’t on his radar in 1973 when Kent State University head coach Don James hired him as a graduate assistant. From there, Saban was an assistant coach at various Division I schools like Syracuse, West Virginia, and Ohio State.

He landed his first head coaching job at the University of Toledo in 1989 but only stayed for one season before heading to the NFL to work as defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.

In 1995, he left the NFL behind and returned to college football as head coach of Michigan State. He eventually made his way to LSU where he earned his first national championship win during the 2003-2004 season.

When he landed at Alabama, he intended to overhaul the program and turn them into a powerhouse within the SEC. His strategy worked, and by his third season, the team had a 14-0 record and won a national championship, Saban’s second. 

Since that first win in 2009, Alabama has consistently ranked high atop college football polls. They’ve won five more national titles and have contenders for the Heisman trophy almost every season. Without a doubt, the success of the program is due to Saban’s effective recruiting and management of his team. 

How much is Nick Saban worth?

His success at Alabama has caused his salary and net worth to skyrocket. Currently, according to Sports Illustrated, Saban is college football’s highest-paid coach, raking in $9.3 million.

Sporting News estimates his total net worth at $60 million. Back in 2019, Saban lost the position of highest-paid coach to Clemson’s Dabo Swinney. However, because of pandemic pay reductions, Swinney’s 2020 salary dropped $1 million while Saban’s remained the same.

Saban’s contract is set to end in 2021, but with his Crimson Tide recently winning another national championship, it’s unlikely Alabama won’t negotiate a newer, even more lucrative deal.

According to USA Today, the SEC is the most profitable place for coaches. A recent report of the highest-paid coaches saw six of the top 10 coming from the SEC.

Saban leads the way, followed by Ed Orgeron of LSU, Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M, Kirby Smart of Georgia, Gus Malzahn of Auburn, and Dan Mullen of Florida.

Is paying a college football coach this much money worth it?

Nick Saban celebrates after winning the National Championship game
Nick Saban celebrates a victory of Ohio State in the National Championship | Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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With his salary topping the college football charts, is he worth it? Well, breaking it down, Alabama has won six national titles and seven SEC championships.

Saban is a four-time SEC coach of the year and has guided various players toward successful NFL careers. With that in mind, his accomplishments with the team seem to indicate his pay is worthwhile. 

It’s also important to consider that Alabama’s football team brings in a considerable amount of revenue. If they weren’t a winning team, revenue would drop, as would Saban’s salary.

As noted above, six of the top 10 highest-paid coaches all hail from the SEC. With Saban being one of the most successful, it’s only right that his salary is at the top.