Nick Saban: Early life, education, career, family and salary

Who is Nick Saban?

Nick Saban is an American football coach who currently heads the team at the University of Alabama. Before joining the University of Alabama, Nick Saban has previously coached the National Football League’s Miami Dolphins and the college football teams at Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Toledo.

Nick Saban is famously known to be one of the most successful coaches in college football history. He has led teams like LSU Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide to the National Championships several times.

Likewise, Nick Saban has also won seven national titles as a head coach, which is the highest in college football history.

Talking about his personal life, Nick Saban is married to Terry Saban. The pair shares two children named Kristen and Nicholas Saban.

Continue to scroll below to know everything about the famous football coach Nick Saban in more detail.

quick facts

Full NameNicholas Lou Saban, Jr.
BirthdayOctober 31, 1951
BirthplaceFairmont, West Virginia, USA
NicknameNick Saban
ReligionRoman Catholic
High schoolMonongah High School
UniversityKent State University
Sun signLeo
Father’s nameNick Saban, Sr
Mother’s nameMary Saban
Height5 ft 6 inches
Weight185 lbs
Hair colorLight Brown
Eye colorBrown
ProfessionFootball Coach
Marital statusMarried
WifeTerry Saban
KidsKristen and Nicholas Saban
Net worthUSD 60 million

early life and education

Nicholas Saban or Nick Saban was born on October 31, 1951, in Fairmount, West Virginia, to Mary and Nick Lou Saban Sr. Nick also has a sister named Dianna Saban, with whom he grew up in a small community of Monongah, West Virginia.

Nick’s father used to own a Gulf gas station and Dairy Queen about 10 miles from Fairmont. So, Nick used to help his father run his business when he was just 11 years old.

His father also coaches the local Pop Warner Youth League football team, the IDA Mac Black Diamonds, which is how Nick also got interested in football. He used to play for the IDA Mac Black Diamonds as their quarterback.

Nick went to Monongah High School, where he also played for their Lions team for three-season as a quarterback. Monongah High School Lions could win 30 game streak in the 1967 2A State Championship due to Nick. During his senior year, Saban also won the title of all-state in football, basketball, and baseball.

After completing high school, Nick joined Kent State University on a football scholarship. There he played as a defensive back for Golden Flashes from 1970 to 1972. During his senior year, the Golden Flashes won Kent State University’s only Mid-America Conference title and even played their first bowl game, the 1972 Tangerine Bowl.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in business in 1973, Nick pursued his post-graduate degree at Kent State University. Saban achieved his post-graduate degree in sports administration in 1975.

personality traits

Nick Saban is an American by nationality. However, he comes of Croatian descent. His paternal grandfather, Stanko Saban, was from the Lika region of Croatia. Stanko immigrated to Portland, Oregon, in 1908 when he was only 13 years old. He then married Anna Mihalic, of Croatian-American heritage leading to four children, including Nick’s father.

Since Nick was born on October 31, his sun sign lies under Scorpio. As a Scorpio, Nick is calm, ambitious, and has a passionate personality. Although several people portray Nick as a tough, grinding, working-hard guy because of his nature as a coach, he is also caring and understanding. Nick is also a devout Roman Catholic, and he attends church before all of his matches.

Saban stands 5′ 6″ inches tall and weighs about 185 lbs. He has light brown hair and a pair of brown eyes.


Nick Saban married his high school sweetheart Terry Constable, who he first met at a junior high science camp. In his biography, Nick revealed that Constable had invited Nick to go for bird watching, but he had stood her up.

However, the pair got a chance for another date when they were in high school, where Nick had taken Terry to watch “Gone With the Wind’ at a local movie theater. And the pair finally started dating during their senior year in high school.

Nick and Terry tied the knot in 1971 and are still very much in love. The pair share two adopted children named Kristen and Nicholas Saban.

Nick Saban with his wife Terry Saban

Apart from being involved in his personal life, Nick’s wife, Terry Saban, also plays a massive part in his professional life. She handles all of his work-related calls and emails that her assistant forwards. She is often also approached by his assistant for her opinion regarding his professional decisions.

Terry is heavily also involved in her husband’s philanthropic endeavors. Both Terry and Nick are founders of a charity called ‘Nick’s Kids Fund.’ The two had established the trust when Nick Michigan State University offered him the position of head coach for their football team.

‘Nicks Kids Fund’ works to raise funds to provide aid to families, teachers, and educational institutions dealing with mentally challenged children.

Nick’s elder son, Nicholas Saban, works in a Mercedes dealership. Nicholas was previously married to Kelsey Laney, with whom he shares a daughter named Amelie Saban. Sadly, the pair are not together anymore, and Nicholas is currently engaged to Samira Makarov.

Nick’s younger daughter Kristen Saban works at a sports event planning organization called Bruno Event Team. Kristen is married to her childhood friend Adam Setas, and the pair together share a son named James Nickolas Setas.

Read more: Learn more about your favorite celebrities and their net worth.

Nick Saban career

After achieving his master’s degree in sports administration in 1975 from Kent States University, Nick Saban joined Kent State staff as linebackers coach. And during the next six years, he served as an assistant coach at Syracuse University, West Virginia University, Ohio State University, and the U.S. Naval Academy.

In 1983, Saban took the job as a defensive backs coach in the Michigan State University (MSU). And after a year later, he was named the team’s defensive coordinator.

After working at Michigan State University, Nick joined National Football League as a secondary coach with the Houston Oilers. He stayed at Houston Oilers for two seasons before finally taking his first head coaching job at Toledo University in Ohio. He led their team to a 9-2 season and Mid-American Conference Co-Champion in 1990.

In 1991, Bill Belichick, the head coach of Cleveland Browns, hired Nick to be his defensive coordinator. As a defensive coordinator, Nick helped the team win 11 games, and they even made it to the NFL playoffs.

Nick again joined Michigan State in 1995 as their head coach. He led the Michigan State University’s team Spartans to a bowl game in four of his five seasons.

He then joined Louisiana State University (LSU), and within two years of his tenure, he was able to coach them to their first SEC Championship, a 31-20 win over second-ranked Tennessee in 2001. Over the years, Saban led his LSU teams to BSC National Championship games and their second conference championship.

With Nick’s lead, the LSU Tigers also made it to a bowl game in each of his five seasons, where they finished with a record of 48-16. After 2004, Nick left LSU and joined Miami Dolphins to be their head coach in the NFL.

Saban worked with the Miami Dolphins for two years, where he led the Dolphins to a 9-7 record. At the end of the 2006 season, he announced that he was joining the University of Alabama as their head coach.

When Saban joined Alabama University’s Crimson Tide, the team struggled through sanctions from violations under former coach Mike Dubose for a decade. Thus, Alabama had given Nick an eight-year contract worth $32 million, making him the highest-paid college head coach.

Nick Saban, American football coach

Although the Crimson Tide lost games with four straight losses during Nick’s first year as their coach, they slowly started winning games by 2008. Alabama became the top-ranked team in the country and started concluding their regular season with a dominating win of 36-0.

Under Saban, the Crimson Tide could win over their strong contenders like Clemson Tigers, Arkansas Georgia Bulldogs, Kentucky Wildcats, and the Ole Miss Rebels.

They also secured their first SEC Western Division Championship after 1999. Nick was also able to win several Coach of the Year Awards for his coaching skills after working for the Crimson Tide.

Many Crimson Tide fans have hailed Saban as the savior of the team. His coaching method is referred to by many as a “Process” that seeks consistent performances across the football teams.

Nick also introduced the “4th Quarter Program” in the Crimson Tide, which seemed to help the players’ physical conditioning and instill responsible behavior.

Saban’s methods produced better and increased discipline among the players. Thus, he is the only coach in college football history to win a national championship with two different schools.

Apart from being tough and skilled at coach football teams, Nick also played a small part in the movie “Blind Side.” The movie is about a homeless and traumatized boy who became an All-American football player and first-round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family.

Nick in an interview said he’ll end his career at Alabama.

Nick awards and recognition

Throughout his career, Nick Saban has won two Associated Press National Coach of the Year award and Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year awards in 2003 and 2008. He has also been named the SEC Coach of the Year five times and won other esteemed awards like the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award, FWAA/Eddie Robinson Award, Walter Camp Football Foundation, and Bobby Bowden National Coach of the Year.

net worth

Currently, Nick Saban’s net worth stands at USD 60 million, which he has earned by coaching various college teams and in NFL.

So what is Nick Saban’s salary as the highest-paid football coach?

As mentioned above, Nick Saban is the highest-paid college football coach. According to sources, Nick Sabana’s annual salary is USD 9,300,000.

In 2020 alone, Saban earned USD 950,000 in on-field bonuses, which included the amount he won from SEC Coach of the Year. In the same year, she also earned a USD 200,000 bonus from Alabama’s national championship.

Likewise, Nick signed a contract with Alabama in 2018-2025, where his base salary is USD 7.5 million with USD 80,0000 in bonus. The terms also state that he will earn annual raises of USD 400,000.

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