Can Nick Saban Get to 300 Career Wins as a Head Coach?
There's very little left for Nick Saban to accomplish in a coaching career that includes six national championships, eight conference championships, and multiple coach of the year awards, but there's still one category where the Alabama head coach could join some very elite company.
Throughout the history of college football, only four men have won more than 300 games at a Division I school. Alonzo Stagg set the bar with 314 wins before Paul 'Bear' Bryant broke the record 37 years ago with a win over Auburn. Bear's record of 323 wins stood for 30 years until Joe Paterno broke it in 2001. Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden eventually joined the group and eclipsed Bryant's previous record as well. The only other coach that got close to that exclusive group was Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer, but he retired 20 wins short.
As the game continues to grow and the competition rises with it, it's hard to imagine many coaches getting close to that number. Expectations have reached near-impossible levels for all but a handful of coaches and job stability has dropped because of it.
Only three active coaches have even reached 200 career wins: Notre Dame's Brian Kelly (23), Alabama's Nick Saban (218) and Kansas State's Billy Snyder (210). The latter is 78-years-old so he likely won't coach long enough to threaten 300 wins and Kelly compiled 118 of his wins at Division II Grand Valley State. So that only leaves the man in charge of one of the greatest dynasties in college football.
Can Saban reach that next plateau before he retires? He's currently under contract through the 2024 season. Let's assume he doesn't sign any more extensions and finishes out this current contract. That leaves him seven seasons to amass 72 more wins, which is essentially 10 wins per season.
Over the past 10 years, Saban has averaged 12.5 wins per year so it's seems all but guaranteed that he'd eclipse 300 before it's all over. With the team playing between 13 and 15 games each year, there's some margin for error along the way.
The better question might be can Saban catch Bryant's career total of 323. He's 108 wins away so he'd need another couple of years beyond his current contract but he'd be very close by 2024 and it might entice him to stick around.
Gary Harris talked about this on his show this week and gave his opinion on the topic. Check out what he thinks in the video below.