UA Art and Art History Remembers Special Moments with Coach Saban

You might think that the UA Department of Art and Art History has been unaffected by the recent campuswide shock of Head Coach Nick Saban’s retirement, but that wouldn’t be true! Studio art and art history students and faculty are huge fans of the Crimson Tide and the coach in particular and are sad to see him go. Indeed, over the years, a few department members have had close contact with the coach and Mrs. Saban, and at least one alum has felt the Sabans’ support for art in a special way.

Saban statue, courtesy Townsquare Media

Most prominently, the statue of Nick Saban — where late-night throngs of students left tributes and symbolic gifts to the coach — was designed by UA undergrad art major, Jeremy K. Davis (BFA 2011). Davis was selected by Coach and Mrs. Saban to make the statue when they saw drawings he had made of Coach Saban. Davis made preliminary drawings and crafted a small-scale maquette or model of the Saban sculpture before turning it into a full-sized bronze figure with the help of his sculpture professors Craig Wedderspoon and Daniel Livingston. UA Athletics unveiled the long-awaited bronze statue of Crimson Tide Football head coach Nick Saban on A-Day, April 16, 2011.

Recently, Davis reminisced on Instagram about meeting the Sabans:

“It seems like a lifetime ago,” Davis said. “[Coach Saban] only had 3 National Championships with the Tide at that time, but it was truly an awesome experience to work with Coach Saban and Mrs. Terry! Shortly after working on the statue, I was able to do some work for Nick’s Kids Foundation as well. Thank you Coach Saban and Mrs. Terry for all the opportunities and the memories! Wishing you a happy retirement and Roll Tide!”

Davis said that he was grateful for the help of his professors, Craig Wedderspoon and Daniel Livingston, who mentored him through the entire process, from drawing to bronze finished statue. Check out the photos below and here, and follow Jeremy Davis on Instagram @worksby_jkdavis.

Other UA art alumni have also had close encounters with Coach Saban. Official UA Legend-in-the-Making Miller Mobley, who studied photography and graduated with a BA in studio art in 2009, has photographed crowds of celebrities from First Lady Michelle Obama to Taylor Swift, and Nick Saban has not been able to escape Mobley’s camera. His mysterious photo of an unseen Coach Saban lifting his hat has been floating around on social media for the last few days. (There was even a sighting of the photo at Taco Casa’s giant cactus!)

Sports artist Daniel A. Moore‘s prints of Coach Saban are favorites around Roll Tide Nation. Moore graduated with a BA in commercial art in 1967, studying under Professor Richard Brough, and created a booming business featuring the Crimson Tide football team in paintings, drawings and prints.

For more information about The University of Alabama’s programs in studio art and art history, visit our Degree Programs page.