University of Alabama football coach Nick Saban, one of the biggest names in college sports, said on Wednesday he tested positive for coronavirus.
Saban and Alabama Athletics Director Greg Byrne simultaneously announced they tested positive for Covid-19. They each immediately left campus and went to their homes to self-isolate after testing positive, the school said. No one other than Byrne and Saban has tested positive so far and contact tracing has begun.
“At this time, I do not have any symptoms relative to COVID, and I have taken another PCR test to confirm my diagnosis,” Saban said in a statement. “I informed our team of my positive test at 2 p.m. today on a Zoom call and let them know offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will oversee preparations at the complex while I work from home.”
Byrne also said that he learned of his own positive diagnosis Wednesday morning and immediately began the self-isolation process. He did not specify whether he was experiencing any symptoms.
“We’ve been diligent about mask wearing and social distancing from the start and want to continue to encourage you all to take the necessary precautions to help stop the spread of this virus for yourself and those around you,” Byrne said.
The university, which plays in the NCAA’s Southeastern Conference, started its season on Sept. 26 and has played undefeated with a 3-0 record so far. They are scheduled to play the University of Georgia Saturday.
With their rivals also standing at 3-0, the Saturday matchup will be a closely watched game for Alabama.
Saban, 68, is beloved by Alabama sports fans for helping lead the school’s elite football program to title after title. He’s earned the school five national championships since 2009 and won National Coach of the Year six times, according to his university biography.
The head coach took over the team after working at Louisiana State University and then two seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.