Saban’s retirement announcement on Wednesday was followed by reports Thursday morning that longtime New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick would be leaving the team after leading the franchise to six Super Bowl titles across 24 seasons. Statements of support for both coaches poured out in the wake of the announcements.
“Bill Belichick will go down in history as one of the greatest coaches of all time,” Rep. Seth Magaziner (D-R.I.)
wrote Thursday morning. “I join all of Pats Nation in saying: thank you for the incredible memories.”
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) briefly faced Saban on the field while Tuberville was the head coach of Alabama’s rival, Auburn. And while the state Democratic party
seconded a suggestion that Saban run the rivalry back by challenging Tuberville for his Senate seat, the Republican senator offered
words of support for Saban, wishing him “well on his future endeavors.”
A childhood friend of Saban, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V) said he “never had a doubt” since Saban’s Pop Warner days that he would leave a lasting impact on the sports world.
Belichick, who supported former President Donald Trump’s 2016 White House bid (but later
declined to accept the Presidential Medal of Freedom from him in the wake of the Jan. 6 riot), was lauded by the Massachusetts state Republican party as “a cultural hero to the State of Massachusetts.”
“He’s the greatest coach in NFL history. His tenure as GM and Head Coach has brought the state together in a way only sports can,” the MassGOP
posted on X.
And the state’s Democratic Gov. Maura Healey praised him as a “legendary coach with an unparalleled legacy.”
“Thank you, Coach Belichick, for a truly unforgettable run for New England,”
Healey posted from her official account.