Former Alabama Coach Nick Saban Joining ESPN’s ‘College GameDay’

Nick Saban, who ended his high-profile run as head football coach at the University of Alabama last month, is headed to ESPN.

The championship-winning coach will become a regular on the network’s popular show College GameDay and is also slated to appear elsewhere on ESPN, including on coverage of the NFL Draft this spring.

More from Deadline

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced the Saban signing and a slew of other news during the company’s fiscal first quarter earnings call.

Saban, 72, is already a recognizable figure on ESPN, whether in interviews, documentary programming or in commercials for insurance firm Aflac. Prior to Alabama, Saban coached at Toledo and Michigan State before winning a national title at LSU, but he is best known for capturing six more titles in a 16-year run at Alabama. He has come to be seen as essentially college football’s version of NFL coach Bill Belichick. Strikingly, both all-time greats found themselves out of work at the start of 2024 for the first time in decades and neither is likely to take the field as a coach in 2024.

RELATED: Disney Sees Solid Quarter With Upbeat Streaming Outlook; “We Have Turned The Corner And Entered A New Era For Our Company,” Says CEO Bob Iger

Alabama lost in the Rose Bowl in the New Year’s Day semifinals of the College Football Playoff, falling to eventual champion Michigan.

GameDay, a foundational part of ESPN’s highly rated college football broadcasts, added Pat McAfee to its on-air lineup last season. That addition as well as a steady amount of intrigue surrounding the highly competitive season propelled the show to its second-most-watched season since 2011, averaging 2 million viewers, a tick below its all-time record of 2.1 million in 2022.

RELATED: Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras Tour’ Concert Film To Stream On Disney+ In March With Five New Songs

“ESPN and College GameDay have played such an important role in the growth of college football, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to join their team,” Saban said in a press release.

RELATED: Disney Buys Stake In Epic Games, Sets Entertainment Partnership Around Fortnite

ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro called Saban “a singular, iconic presence in college football. He is also an extremely gifted communicator, who will immediately add even more credibility, authority and entertainment value to ESPN.”

RELATED: ‘Percy Jackson’ Renewed For Season 2 By Disney+

RELATED: ‘Moana 2’ Is Happening This November Says Disney’s Bob Iger

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.