ESPN adds Nick Saban to ‘College GameDay’ lineup

AP file photo by Lynne Sladky / Nick Saban, who retired on Jan. 10 after 17 seasons as Alabama's football coach, will join ESPN this year as an on-set analyst for the network's "College GameDay" program.
AP file photo by Lynne Sladky / Nick Saban, who retired on Jan. 10 after 17 seasons as Alabama's football coach, will join ESPN this year as an on-set analyst for the network's "College GameDay" program.

Nick Saban is joining ESPN's "College GameDay," the long-running Saturday pregame road show he appeared on as a guest so frequently during his 17 seasons as the University of Alabama's football coach.

The network announced Wednesday that Saban will be an on-set analyst for "GameDay," joining host Rece Davis and regulars Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Pat McAfee.

Saban, 72, announced his retirement on Jan. 10 in Tuscaloosa, ending a 28-year career in college coaching that included seven national championships, all with Southeastern Conference programs. He won six titles at Alabama and one at LSU.

"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 release announcing his addition. "I'll do my best to offer additional insights and perspectives to contribute to College GameDay, the ultimate Saturday tradition for college football fans."

The network said Saban will also be part of ESPN's NFL draft coverage and make appearances at the SEC's football media days event in July. His first assignment will be announced at a later date, according to the network.

"Nick Saban is 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, including our esteemed College GameDay show," ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in the release.

Next season also marks the first with ESPN as the exclusive media rights partner with the SEC. Saban won a total of 12 SEC titles during his time leading Alabama and LSU. He was also a college head coach at Toledo and Michigan State and an NFL head coach with the Miami Dolphins.

Alabama has hosted "GameDay" 18 times and appeared in 55 games that the show featured, most coming during Saban's tenure.

Saban has also appeared on ESPN's college football coverage as a guest analyst during the occasional postseasons when his Crimson Tide were not competing for the national championship.

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