Alabama coach Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19

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

Saban, 68, was informed of the positive result and immediately left the team facility.

Steve Sarkisian to take over in Saban’s absence

Saban said in a statement that offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian “will oversee preparations at the complex while I work from home.”

Saban detailed how he handled the situation.

Nick Saban
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

“I found out earlier this afternoon that I had tested positive for COVID-19,” Saban said. “I immediately left work and isolated at home. At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis.

“I informed my team of the positive test at 2 p.m. (CT) today on a Zoom call and let them know that offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations at the complex while I work from home.”

Byrne said in a statement that the athletic department has “been diligent about mask wearing and social distancing from the start.”

The No. 2 Crimson Tide are scheduled to play No. 3 Georgia on Saturday night. Saban said his situation will not affect preparations.

“I can do absolutely everything here that I do,” Saban said during a news conference. “I’ll have the same exact routine. The first thing I do on Thursday morning is watch the defensive practice with the defense, then we do two-minute and two-point plays. Then I’ll watch what we did against each other with offense, then I’ll watch the offensive practice and I’ll watch special teams.

“I usually do a little write-up for two-minute and two-point plays for the team. I’ll do all those things exactly like I always do it. I didn’t leave the country or anything. It is right down the street and we have this technology so it’s really unique. Now I don’t have any experience but we’re gonna do the best we can to keep everything normal as possible.”

Saban is the fifth known FBS football coach to test positive for COVID-19 this season. Blake Anderson (Arkansas State), Les Miles (Kansas), Mike Norvell (Florida State) and Kevin Sumlin (Arizona) also have tested positive since Labor Day.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)