The Saban family is Alabama royalty thanks to Nick Saban’s impressive career as head coach of the University of Alabama’s beloved football team. Saban has won five championships over his college football coaching career.
Saban’s wife, Terry, is well known for being supportive of her husband and his career and can be found in the stands at every game yelling Roll Tide. Coach Saban also takes pride in his son, Nicholas, and his daughter, Kristen who recently got married to Alabama alumnus Adam Setas.
Here’s what you need to know about the family:
1. Nick and Terry Have Been Married for 45 Years
Nick met Terry at a 4-H science camp when they were in seventh grade. The two began dating seriously when Nick was studying at Kent State and Terry was teaching in West Virginia. The relationship started with Nick sending Terry love letters, and they got married when he came home from school over Christmas break. The Sabans were 21 years old when they wed over their Christmas breaks while in college.
Both Nick and Terry are devout Catholics who only on rare occasions miss Mass. The lovebirdds keep in constant contact throughout the day and whenever Saban flies, he calls Terry before he takes off and as soon as he lands, according to a profile done on him for GQ.
2. Nicholas & His Wife Gave Nick & Terry Their 1st Grandchild Grandchild
Nick and Terry became grandparents in December of 2013 when son Nicholas had his first child. Nicholas and his wife, Kelse Laney, had a little boy.
Nick and Terry rushed to the hospital when they heard the news and Saban told AL.com:
It’s really wonderful and you have to count your blessings to have a healthy baby and a healthy mother and someone that beautiful come into your family is really something that you have to count your blessings on,” Saban said. “Like so many things may not go right, and we certainly feel like we’re blessed to have a healthy baby.
We actually had a rocking chair over there so I was kinda happy rocking that baby for a little bit.
3. Kristen Was Sued by a Sorority Sister
Saban was in the headlines in 2012, when Sarah Grimes, a sorority sister who once described herself as one of Saban’s best friends, sued Kristen, claiming Saban savagely beat her in a 2010 drunken fight prompted by a Facebook post. You can read the lawsuit in the document above.
In the suit, Grimes claimed that Saban broke down in tears following a night of drinking that had begun with a game of Power Hour because a guy Saban had been dating hadn’t been paying enough attention to her.
When Grimes told Saban to shut up, Saban went upstairs to her room and wrote on Facebook that nobody liked Grimes. That prompted Grimes to enter Saban’s room and confront her.
A fight ensued, and Grimes claimed in the suit that she suffered physical injuries and “severe emotional trauma” from the beating.
The suit alleged:
As a result of the beating and the head injuries Sarah Grimes sustained by Kristen Saban, Sarah has had repeated night terrors, anxiety, physical trembling, fears of dying from brain injuries, trouble sleeping, and intrusive recollections of the event.
According to the suit, the school’s Judicial Affairs office ordered Saban to take psychological testing and an anger management class, and a no contact order was issued between the two.
Saban’s lawyers claimed that she acted in self defense when confronted by Grimes, and in February 2014, a Tuscaloosa judge tossed the lawsuit, writing in a summary judgment that Saban had a right to stand her ground after being attacked.
According to AL.com, Circuit Judge James Roberts wrote the following in his summary judgment:
When [Saban] opened the door to an angry [Grimes] within inches of her face, it was reasonable for [Saban] to believe imminent use of unlawful physical force by [Grimes] was about to be used against her. [Saban] had a right to be in her home, had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand her ground.”
On April 23, 2015, Grimes asked the judge to dismiss the lawsuit.
4. Terry Uses Football to Stay Involved
Both Terry and Nick donate time and money to the communities that support Alabama football.
Their most-known charity group is Nick’s Kids Fund. Since 1998, the Sabans have used it to raise money to help support children, student, teacher and family causes, as well as give community members chances to volunteer. To date, the organization has raised and distributed more than $4 million.
Nick’s Kids Fund also did “15 for 15,” which was building 15 Habitat for Humanity houses to represent 15 national championships.
In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina hit the Miami area, where Nick was coaching the Dolphins, Terry helped in the relief efforts. Along with cheerleaders, former Dolphins’ players and the wives of players and coaches, Terry led a collection effort.
5. Terry is Nick’s Biggest Negotiator
Nick’s assistant forwards Terry all of his incoming emails and copies her on the ones going out.
According to the Wall Street Journal, when Nick was working on his contract with LSU, Terry was in on almost all of the details.
When it comes to recruiting players, Terry told the Journal she’s just as involved as Nick.
“The only thing we use the dining room table for is recruiting,” she said.
Alabama wide receiver Chris Black was quoted in the Journal article saying Terry has more control than Nick does:
Chris Black, an Alabama wide receiver, said Saban often jokes that Terry makes all of the important decisions. “She kind of wears the pants,” Black said.