The University of Alabama announced that head football coach Nick Saban was terminated following the 48-45 Iron Bowl loss to Auburn on Saturday.
The loss put Alabama at 10-2 on the season and out of the college football playoffs for the first time. That in addition to losing the national championship last year led to the decision to move on from Saban.
“We expect to be competing for a championship every year,” Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne said in a press conference. “For the second straight year, we will be without a championship. You look at other schools around the league who have fired coaches for not meeting their standards, this is no different.”
Byrne pointed to decisions such as leaving starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in the game against Mississippi State, resulting in injury, and the critical 12 men on the field penalty in the Auburn that ended the game as reasons to blame Saban for the outcome of the season.
This season puts Saban below .500 at Alabama, with only 5 national championships over 11 seasons.
“We measure our success in championships, other top-performing schools would not be happy if their coach went 6-6, why should we be happy with less,” Byrne continued. “We are interviewing candidates immediately and hope to make a decision soon.”
Sources said Byrne met with Auburn coach Gus Malzahn following the game and plan to talk with former Clemson coordinator and Arkansas head coach Chad Morris early this week.
Following the loss, Coca-Cola additionally pulled their contract with Bryant Denny stadium. The soda contract will now go to Pepsi for the 2020 season.