Alabama coach Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19

Alabama coach Nick Saban tests positive for COVID-19
During the Oct. 10 game against Ole Miss, from left, Alabama quarterback Mac Jones (10), Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and Alabama coach Nick Saban. Saban announced today he has tested positive for COVID-19 and Sarkisian will take over as interim head coach while he self-isolates at home. (Kent Gidley/UA Athletics)

Alabama coach Nick Saban has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating in his home while the No. 2-ranked Crimson Tide football team continues its preparations for a much-anticipated game with No. 3-ranked Georgia Saturday.

Speaking from a virtual call in his home today, Saban said there are plans in place when a major member of the coaching staff is unable to be present and that plan is being implemented with offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian taking over as interim head coach in Saban’s absence.

Alabama coach Nick Saban talks about his COVID-19 diagnosis and preparations for Georgia from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

However, that absence, Saban said, is only in a physical sense. Saban was able to monitor practice today virtually and provide input and ask for plays to be done again when mistakes were made. He said his typical Thursday routine will be followed tomorrow from home instead of at the football complex.

In addition to Saban, University of Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne also tested positive for COVID-19.

Sarkisian has been a head coach before, at the University of Washington (2009-2013) and at the University of Southern California (2014 to 2015). Saban said Sarkisian is prepared to handle both head coaching duties and offensive play calling in the Georgia game.

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