The Saban’s Sell Their Tuscaloosa Area House to Foundation
By: Larry Burton
When the Saban’s came to Alabama in 2007, Terry Saban was put in charge of finding them a home. Saban has since joked that he was so busy with the transition and that Terry was so into getting the right place that he had no say in the deal whatsoever.
What Terry decided on was a beautiful 8,759-square-foot home on a large secluded lot near Lake Tuscaloosa. As a coach’s wife, she knew he needed his privacy for the little time he spends there and they both needed the space and facilities to entertain friends, recruits and their families. Saban has joked before that he gets to pick nothing at the house except his car in the driveway. This was a home that was done by Terry, but lovingly put together with Nick and his duties in mind.
In 2007, the purchase price was $2.875 million when the Saban’s bought it and this March was purchased by The Crimson Tide Foundation, according to a deed executed in the Tuscaloosa County courthouse, for $3,077,000. In addition the foundation as of Dec. 2013, has been picking up the property taxes of $10,035 per year also. That was something that the Saban’s had been paying themselves. Sounds like he’ll save enough each year for a new jet ski.
Though the sale happened a while ago, it’s just now making news and becoming public. While there were rumors that this was done to keep Saban from being lured away to a school like Texas, the foundation says that’s not the case and that they just wanted to show their appreciation for what both Nick and Terry have accomplished while here.
Since the purchase, Terry has turned this into a landing pad from the Miami move to a comfortable home that she and Nick enjoy. The driveway once out in the open is now covered in shade by trees that were planted on either side of the driveway to form a canopy underneath. Like those trees which have grown tall and full by the driveway and swimming pool, the Sabans too have put down roots here.
Though the house is now titled in the name of the foundation, the home is Saban’s for as long as he desires, even after retirement. And in interviewing both Terry and Nick over the years, both have made it clear that retirement from the University of Alabama is what they intend to do one day. Saban has said before that he and Terry love the area and could see themselves in that home after retirement. The only job Saban could possibly lured in to would be a desk job at ESPN’s College Game Day broadcasts.
Having a foundation provide a home for a coach is allowable under the NCAA’s guidelines and this is nothing new, as Coach Bryant’s home was also purchased by the foundation and he continued to live in it after he retired from coaching.
But no one can the Saban’s homeless. They own a beautiful lakefront home at Lake Burton, Georgia and both have said that this is where they plan to spend much of their retirement years. Saban will use his competitive urges on the golf course instead of a football field and Terry will be glad to finally have a full time husband.
Though the sale does give back to Saban the money he paid for the house, he does not really make much of a profit on the house as that is now the appraised value of the home. The sale of the home nor the paid for property taxes are part of his 6.9 million dollar salary and performance bonuses. So this makes the Sabans happy in knowing the foundation, with money from boosters, not from the University’s coffers, are doing all they can to make them feel appreciated.
“It’s not all that unusual in the world for universities to provide the housing. We want to keep him happy. We think he is the best coach in America,” said Scott Phelps, assistant secretary of the foundation on the purchase of the home.
And living in this sprawling four bedroom, 11 room mansion with five and a half bathrooms and spacious private landscaping should keep the Sabans happy for years to come. They have room for the kids and a new grandchild to come back and visit as well and Nick is near both the water and golf courses that he enjoys.
This home and salary is a far cry from the humble beginnings of both Nick and Terry Saban, who come from small towns in West Virginia. But both have put in the time and work to enjoy the fruits of that labor now. And while some may think that this latest gesture by Alabama’s boosters is over the top, it’s not as over the top as the results that Saban has brought to Tuscaloosa since his arrival in 2007, and some would say, it’s still not enough.
Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter