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Nick Saban shares what factors would affect his decision to retire from Alabama

Alabama head coach Nick Saban walks through the tunnel for season opener against Utah State
Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics

Nick Saban isn’t slowing down and surely isn’t putting himself on a timetable for when he will hang up his whistle for good.

In fact, Saban is coming off yet another top recruiting class and has a contract that runs through the 2030 season so it’s safe to say he’ll be patrolling the sidelines inside Bryant-Denny Stadium for the coming years. But even Saban will admit that there are some factors he’s considering that could make an impact on his decision to walk away from the game.

During an appearance on the “Know Mercy” podcast with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, Saban explained that teams will eventually be able to use his age against him which could ultimately harm the program. And that’s not something Saban is interested in doing.

“I basically love what I do,” Saban said. “I love the relationships with the players. I love trying to build a team with a group of people. That’s a lot of fun. I enjoy doing that. I am also very aware that I don’t want to ever ride the program down.

“In other words, there’s going to come a time when my age and my circumstance — everybody is going to be able to tell somebody, ‘Well, he’s not going to be there. I mean, how long is he going to coach until he’s 90?’ That will start to affect the program maybe in an adverse way. I don’t want to get there.

“I don’t ever want to be in this position where I don’t feel like I’m making a positive contribution to the program, because I can still do the work at a quality level that is making a contribution to the success of the organization.

“So, I’m not there yet. But all those things are factors that I would consider. Whenever the time comes — it hasn’t come yet, and I enjoy doing what I’m doing.”

Saban, who will turn 72 years old this fall, has remained consistent in his hopes of not dragging the program down in his twilight years as a coach. But to predict when Saban’s age will truly become a hindrance appears to be as difficult as winning the SEC.

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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77

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