Nick Saban Missing? No, He’s On First Real Vacation In Decades In Rome (Italy, Not Georgia)

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Nick Saban once asked his wife if she wanted to go to a movie. She said yes.

And he took her to the office to watch game film.

Actually, that really happened with the late Ohio State football coach, Woody Hayes. But it may have happened with Saban, who once said that happened. But the Alabama football coach appeared to be joking.

For Saban, the idea of down time is working with your down linemen. And he is not a big fan of Disney parks.

Vacation? Why, that has usually been a few days at his summer home on Lake Burton in Georgia.

Which is why many people have been shocked in recent days to bump into Saban in Rome, Italy. Before this, some in Alabama were wondering if Saban had gone missing. This was because he was not seen at the Regions golf tournament last week in Birmingham, which he usually attends.

Nick Saban (middle) was spotted this week in Rome, Italy, on vacation with his family (not pictured).

He looks like he may be explaining the cover-2 defense in the above tweet to a tourist, but he is on vacation. And that is not Michael Jackson reincarnated on his left.

Nick Saban’s 1st Extended Vacation In Decades

According to ESPN’s Chris Low, who is perhaps his closest friend from the media, Saban is taking his first prolonged vacation since becoming Alabama’s coach after the 2006 season. That is when he left the Miami Dolphins. He and his family are expected to be vacationing for about two weeks.

There is nothing pending for Saban until the SEC Spring Meetings that begin in Destin, Florida, in two weeks. He is finished with the NCAA Transfer Portal and recruiting for at least a little while.

Alabama Coach Usually Only Takes A Few Days Off

Saban tends to take only three or four days off at a time and usually goes to he and his wife Terry’s hometown of Fairmont, West Virginia, or to Lake Burton. When Saban was LSU’s coach from 2000-04, he did not go on any real vacations, LSU associate athletic director for communications Michael Bonnette told OutKick on Thursday.

More tourists bumped into Nick Saban in Venice, Italy. From left, Gibbs Wilson, his wife Lori Wilson, and their sons Andrew and Zachary Wilson of Tampa, Florida. (Photo courtesy of George Morris).

Even when LSU visited the White House in 2004 after winning national title in the 2003 season, Saban made sure the Tigers were in and out of Washington D.C. in one day. Because he sandwiched the visit in between spring football practices.

Did Saban, 71, just decide to take some down time? Or is he listening to orders from Mrs. Saban? The trip has been planned for several months, Low said.

Or is there a quarterback somewhere in the Italy countryside?

If he enjoys himself, could this mean retirement soon? Or rejuvenation and another national championship sooner?

Written by Glenn Guilbeau

Guilbeau joined OutKick as an SEC columnist in September of 2021 after covering LSU and the Saints for 17 years at USA TODAY Louisiana. He has been a national columnist/feature writer since the summer of 2022, covering college football, basketball and baseball with some NFL, NBA, MLB, TV and Movies and general assignment, including hot dog taste tests.

A New Orleans native and Mizzou graduate, he has consistently won Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) and Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) awards since covering Alabama and Auburn at the Mobile Press-Register (1993-98) and LSU and the Saints at the Baton Rouge Advocate (1998-2004). In 2021, Guilbeau won an FWAA 1st for a game feature, placed in APSE Beat Writing, Breaking News and Explanatory, and won Beat Writer of the Year from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA). He won an FWAA columnist 1st in 2017 and was FWAA's top overall winner in 2016 with 1st in game story, 2nd in columns, and features honorable mention.

Guilbeau completed a book in 2022 about LSU's five-time national champion coach - "Everything Matters In Baseball: The Skip Bertman Story" - that is available at, and Barnes & Noble outlets. He lives in Baton Rouge with his wife, the former Michelle Millhollon of Thibodaux who previously covered politics for the Baton Rouge Advocate and is a communications director.

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