Alabama head coach Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19 - Sports Illustrated

Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban Tests Positive for COVID-19


Alabama head coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne have both tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced Wednesday.

According to the school, both left the Alabama facility and returned to their homes to self-isolate after learning of their positive COVID-19 test results on Wednesday.

"At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis," Saban, 68, said in a statement.

"I feel fine, so I'm not really concerned that much about my health, but you never know," Saban told reporters shortly after news of his positive test went public. "Look, I basically feel like when we're in our own personal bubble here everybody is in a much safer place. I think as soon as you travel you get exposed to a lot more things and a lot more people."

Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations at the team complex while Saban works from home, Saban said in his statement.

"At this point in time, the positive tests are limited to those two individuals," according to a school-issued statement from Alabama’s team doctor, Jimmy Robinson, and Jeff Allen, the football team’s head athletic trainer,. "All individuals who are considered high risk contacts have been notified and will follow quarantine guidelines."

Saban is the fourth-oldest coach in the FBS and the oldest coach in the SEC.

No. 2 Alabama enters Saturday's primetime matchup with No. 3 Georgia with a 3–0 record, having defeated Missouri, Texas A&M and Ole Miss. On Wednesday, just days after losing to Saban and Alabama 59–31, Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin confirmed that his team is "having an issue" with COVID-19 cases, though he failed to disclosed any exact number of positive results.

Throughout the pandemic Saban has filmed a number of informational PSAs to promote being cautious and aware of the novel virus, including one with Alabama mascot Big Al that went viral.

Saban’s announcement came just hours after the SEC announced that Saturday’s game between Florida and L.S.U. would be postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak at UF. On Monday, the SEC elected to postpone a game between Missouri and Vanderbilt because of issues related to COVID-19.

Kickoff for Saturday's Alabama-Georgia game is currently set for 8 p.m. ET.