Mike Locksley speaks to Nick Saban's retirement: 'He did it his way'
Mike Locksley, like the rest of the college football world, did not see Nick Saban’s retirement coming. The Maryland coach, though, wasn’t surprised at how his former Alabama boss decided to step away.
Locksley is one of the many former Saban assistants in college football today, spending time at Alabama from 2016-2018 in offensive assistant roles. In an interview with SiriusXM on Saturday, the Maryland head coach noted how Saban did things on his own terms.
“There’s no doubt but in true Nick Saban fashion, he did it his way as Fred Astaire said,” Locksley told the show. “I talked to him the day before he actually retired and there was no indication because our conversation was about the future. Our conversation was about he was interviewing coaches and asking about a couple of guys for positions.
“So, to find out the next day that he was making the decision the next day to retire, it just blew my mind. Anybody that knows coach know that he’s the kind of guy, he’s the guy that has to have something to look forward to.”
Was Mike Locksley as shocked as the rest of the sports world when the news broke, that @AlabamaFTBL HC, Nick Saban would be retiring? #RollTide @TerpsFootball, @CoachLocks discussed with @JacobHester18 & @Bcarp3.https://t.co/HfuIYlQsG5 pic.twitter.com/H24ZbW1qf5
— College Sports on SiriusXM (@SXMCollege) January 13, 2024
Even before finally deciding to retire Saban was still working, which speaks to how much the former Alabama coach loved his job. What Locksley said about Saban calling to talk about interviewing coaches shouldn’t surprise fans. A report came out stating that Saban did the same thing the day of his retirement.
The Crimson Tide didn’t take long to find Saban’s replacement, and it could be a good one. Kalen DeBoer will be leading the program into the future after being announced as the next head coach on Friday. DeBoer most recently led Washington to the College Football Playoff National Championship against Michigan.
During Alabama’s search, Locksley was mentioned as a potential candidate to succeed Saban.