Nick Saban Says Wife 'Miss Terry' Is 'Fine' Following Illness Rumors

Saban's retirement from being the head coach of the University of Alabama's football team brought with it at least one completely evidence-free rumor.

Published Jan 11, 2024

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrates with his wife Terry after beating the Georgia Bulldogs in overtime to win the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Jan. 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama won 26-23. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Image Via Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Nick Saban has put to bed an online rumor that claimed his wife, Terry – widely known to fans of the University of Alabama football team simply as "Miss Terry" – was experiencing a sickness, Alzheimer's disease, dementia or some other illness.

"Miss Terry's fine. I'm fine," Saban said, during an exclusive interview with ESPN's Rece Davis on Jan. 11, 2024, just one day after announcing that he would be retiring after 17 seasons as the Alabama Crimson Tide's head football coach.

The retirement news resulted in the evidence-free rumor spreading on social media and message boards, and in Google search suggestions. Generally, the rumor hinted that his retirement was in some way related to his wife being diagnosed with an illness.

As for the real reason Saban says is why he decided to retire, he shared during the interview that he didn't feel at his age that he was going to be able to live up to the standard he believed was necessary to be successful in his role as the team's head coach.

"To be honest, this last season was grueling," the 72-year-old Saban said, following a 12-2 season that included a Southeastern Conference championship victory over the then-No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs and a close overtime loss in the annual Rose Bowl game, won by the eventual national champions, the Michigan Wolverines.

"It was a real grind for us to come from where we started to where we got to," Saban continued. "It took a little more out of me than usual. And when people mentioned the health issue, it was really just the grind of, can you do this the way you want to do it? Can you do it the way you've always done it and be able to sustain it and do it for the entire season? And if I couldn't make a commitment to do that in the future, the way I think I have to do it, I thought maybe this was the right time, based on those two sets of circumstances, that, like I said, there's never a good time. But I thought maybe this was the right time."

Davis responded, "So, there's no illness? It's just the grind and gruel of the season?"

"Yeah, there's no illness," Saban answered. "Miss Terry's fine. I'm fine. But, it was the, can you sustain the season, from just a mental grind, standpoint."

Saban previously led the LSU Tigers to one national championship in 2003 and won six more national titles in his time at Alabama, cementing his legacy as one of, if not the, best regarded coaches in the sport's history.


“Exclusive Nick Saban Interview after His Alabama Retirement w/ Rece Davis | ESPN College Football.” YouTube, ESPN, 11 Jan. 2024,

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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