On Wednesday, University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban reportedly informed his team he was retiring after a legendary career.

Saban, 72, spent 17 years at Alabama, bringing six national championships to Tuscaloosa.

Recognizing his incredible career, leaders across Alabama — no matter their collegiate allegiances — offered up praise for college football's greatest coach of all time.

"As a close friend and competitor for decades, I want to congratulate Nick Saban on a historic coaching career that achieved 7 national championships and 10 SEC championships—accomplishments that may never be equaled," U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn), who coached against Saban while at Auburn, stated. "I have always admired his focus and his dedication to the game of football, to his players, and to the state of Alabama. College football fans everywhere will miss Nick Saban on the sidelines every Saturday. I wish him well on his future endeavors and congratulate him on a well-earned retirement."

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Alabama alum U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery) said in a statement, "In a place Where Legends are Made, one legend now towers above the rest. Since 2007, Coach Saban has redefined not only the Alabama football program, but the entire college football landscape. I believe that what he accomplished on the field was the greatest coaching job in the history of athletics. But his incredible impact on the University of Alabama, the Tuscaloosa community, and the state of Alabama extends well beyond the boundaries of Bryant-Denny Stadium."

"Throughout his unmatched career, he has coached with inspiration, intelligence, and integrity, all while holding his players and coaching staff to that same standard of unrelenting, unassuming excellence," she continued. "Coach Saban is also the first to say that his success is not his alone. I have no doubt that without his wife, the one-and-only' Miss Terry,' Coach Saban would not have reached the pinnacle of achievement. The Sabans' legacy will be defined by the countless number of lives they changed for the better. Always generous of their time, talent, and resources, consistently conducting themselves with class, character, and grace, Miss Terry and Coach Saban modeled the way for generations to follow—while bonding generations of Alabamians and Crimson Tide fans together across the daunting divides that define much of our day and age. We truly owe the Sabans an immeasurable amount of gratitude. My family and I extend our warmest wishes to the entire Saban family on this next season of life and congratulate Coach Saban on his remarkable career."

U.S. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) stated, "It appears one of my constituents in Tuscaloosa has made a big decision. Thank you Nick Saban for 17 great years at Alabama and for all you've done for college football. My best wishes to you and Miss Terry. Fall Saturdays in the South won't be the same. Roll Tide Forever!"

"GOAT," U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) wrote on Twitter. "Thank you, Coach."

While sharing a picture of himself with Saban, U.S. Rep. Dale Strong (R-Monrovia) congratulated the coach.

"Congratulations to Coach Saban on a well deserved retirement," Strong wrote. "After 7 national titles and 11 SEC championships, Coach Saban has undoubtedly secured his place as one of the greatest coaches in college football history. Enjoy your retirement with Ms. Terry, Coach!

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), sharing Britt's tweet, said, "From the entire state of Alabama, thank you, Coach Saban."

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham) congratulated Saban and shared some pictures of the two together.

Gov. Kay Ivey called Saban and his wife, Miss Terry, "tremendous Alabamians."

"Nick Saban will go down as one of the best in college football, and in Alabama, in our culture, that means something," Ivey said. "He and Terry are also tremendous Alabamians who have given so much to the Tuscaloosa community and our entire state. For you, Coach, I'll say: Roll Tide!"

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth tweeted out his congratulations to Saban.

"Nick Saban coached countless young men to be outstanding athletes and men of character. Congratulations, Coach Saban, on a legendary tenure at the University of Alabama. The entire state appreciates your contributions to the University and the Tuscaloosa community," he wrote.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email trent.baker@1819news.com.

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