Nick Saban

Nick Saban delivers candid tribute to his wife, Terry Saban, on their 49th wedding anniversary

Nick Saban and Miss Terry wave to fans during national championship parade
Butch Dill - USA TODAY Sports

It is great to be valued and appreciated by your assistant coaches, players, peers and fans, but carrying the same value at home places someone in a class of its own.

Today is a special day for Nick Saban.

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As the head football coach for the University of Alabama, he is celebrating his 49th wedding anniversary. He and his wife, Mrs. Terry Saban, got married in 1971 and the two have withstood the test of time. The two opposites first met each other at a science camp in the seventh grade.

They would start dating years later, when Saban attended Kent State and Terry was a teacher in West Virginia. Before he got into coaching, Saban had some smooth moves in the dating game.

He took Miss Terry to see Gone With the Wind on their first date in 1968, and they were married three years later. Since then, the couple has had two children — Nicholas Saban and Kristen Saban Setas — and now they have a couple of grandchildren. He runs the football program at Alabama and during other stops on his coaching journey; however, she helps in recruiting and also keeps him in line on certain things.

Mrs. Terry took care of Coach Saban after his hip surgery and did everything possible to get him back healthy, following a positive test for Coronavirus and having mild symptoms for it.

She has been at every game, postgame press conference, recruiting trip, and has made each student-athlete feel at home. Nick and Terry Saban also co-founded the Nick’s Kids Foundation, which is an organization geared toward helping the youth and giving back to the Tuscaloosa community. Throughout the rise the football program, the University and the community, the Saban family has played a critical role in creating a special atmosphere out of a college town. On Thursday, Saban gave a candid tribute to his Miss Terry on his “Hey Coach” show before the SEC title game.

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“She’s been a great partner and really supportive and helped me in so many ways to get better in terms of so many things that I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it, appreciate her,” Saban said of Mrs. Terry.

At the 9th annual Teacher Excellence Awards, Mrs. Terry spoke on how she has a new respect for what Saban does.

Saban did not coach the 85th Iron Bowl against Auburn in the regular season. He missed his first game in 14 years with the Crimson Tide and despite the emotions of the matchup, Mrs. Terry got quality time with her husband in quarantine.

“That time at home with Nick, I almost would not trade it,” she said. “In 40 something years of being married, it is the first time that I really got a first-hand view of what his days are like. I tried not to comment. I had opinions, but I try to not give my opinion on everything.”

The two were in opposite areas of the house for the Iron Bowl and from Mrs. Terry’s account, the head coach was as intense watching television as he would have been on the field.

“The biggest point was I would hear this booming almost like how people would describe a tornado coming. I would stop and say ‘what was that?’ And then I would realize it was Nick screaming at the TV. I know it was much more trying for him than me, but I enjoyed being near that.”- Terry Saban on being at home with Nick Saban for Iron Bowl

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She has balanced him out through 49 years, and Tide fans are wishing for more.

The power couple looks to bring another conference title and national championship home to Tuscaloosa.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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