Is Terry Saban Sick? The Truth Behind Nick Saban’s Retirement and His Wife’s Health

Nick Saban, the iconic head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, shocked the sports world by announcing his retirement on January 10, 2024, concluding a remarkable 17-season tenure that yielded seven national championships. Amid widespread speculation about the reasons behind his decision, a persistent but false rumor suggested that his wife, Terry Saban, known as “Miss Terry,” was battling a serious illness, possibly Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, prompting Nick Saban’s desire to spend more time with her.

Contrary to the unfounded speculation, Nick Saban clarified the situation in an exclusive interview with ESPN’s Rece Davis on January 11, 2024. He affirmed that both he and his wife were in good health. The primary driver for his retirement, he explained, was the cumulative mental and physical toll of coaching at an elite level for such an extended period.

The Rumor’s Genesis

The unfounded rumor about Terry Saban’s health gained traction on social media and online forums following Nick Saban’s retirement announcement. Some users claimed inside knowledge, asserting that Terry Saban had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Others speculated on her deteriorating health and suggested Nick Saban was retiring to care for her. Despite the lack of credible sources, the rumor persisted due to Nick Saban’s vague retirement explanation during the press conference on January 10, 2024.

Unveiling the Truth

Nick Saban’s failure to provide a clear explanation during the press conference fueled the speculation. However, in the subsequent ESPN interview, he dispelled the rumors, emphasizing that his retirement had no connection to his wife’s health. He highlighted the toll of coaching at the highest level for an extended period as the true reason for his decision.

The Clarification

Nick Saban revealed that retirement had been on his mind for some time, and it was a decision made after discussions with his family. He expressed no regrets, stating that he was proud of his career achievements. His plans included spending more time with his wife, and grandchildren, and continuing philanthropic efforts through his Nick’s Kids Foundation.

Terry Saban’s Response

While Terry Saban did not directly address the health rumors, she shared a heartfelt message on social media amidst the retirement speculation. Expressing gratitude to the University of Alabama, fans, players, staff, and the community, she emphasized the incredible journey they had experienced. Reflecting on Nick Saban’s legacy, she underscored the enduring value of his philosophy and the Nick’s Kids Foundation’s commitment to supporting Alabama’s children, students, and teachers.


In conclusion, the rumor regarding Terry Saban’s illness was baseless. Nick Saban retired due to the demanding nature of coaching, not his wife’s health. Both expressed gratitude to the University of Alabama and affirmed their continued connection to the Crimson Tide family. The couple looked forward to a new chapter, emphasizing family time and ongoing philanthropy.

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