In a span of 24 hours this week, three legendary football coaches – Bill Belichick, Nick Saban and Pete Carroll – stepped away from positions they’ve held for more than 50 years combined.
Saban announced his retirement after 17 seasons at Alabama, where he won six of his seven national championship, while Belichick mutually agreed to part ways with the New England Patriots after 24 seasons and six Super Bowl titles.
Carroll, meanwhile, will transition into an advisory role with the Seattle Seahawks after 14 seasons and one Super Bowl victory as head coach. He also led USC to a pair of national titles before that, making him one of three coaches to accomplish both (Jimmy Johnson and Barry Switzer).
With that, we’ve decided to take a logo-centric look back at their careers, from their humble beginnings as graduate or special assistants to their subsequent rise through the ranks, as well as the logos used during their national championship and/or Super Bowl seasons.
Belichick and Saban crossed paths in the NFL on multiple occasions, including their time with the Cleveland Browns, when Belichick was the head coach and Saban was his defensive coordinator from 1991-94.
There was also a time when Belichick was the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator and Saban was the Houston Oilers’ defensive backs coach (1988-89), as well as when Belichick was the Patriots head coach and Saban was leading the Miami Dolphins (2005-06).
Saban and Carroll never faced off as head coaches at the collegiate level, but their careers have been connected since Saban replaced Carroll as Ohio State’s secondary coach in 1980 after the latter took a job as N.C. State’s defensive coordinator.
Interestingly, Carroll would later be replaced by Belichick after being fired as head coach of the Patriots following the 1999 season. They squared off as first-time head coaches in 1994 and several times thereafter, including Super Bowl XLIX, when the Patriots defeated the Seahawks, 28-24.
That wasn’t the only time two of the coaches shared a stage, either, as Saban led LSU to the BCS national championship with a 21-14 win over Oklahoma in the 2004 Sugar Bowl, while Carroll helped USC capture the AP title with a 28-14 victory against Michigan in the 2004 Rose Bowl.
That marked the most recent split national title in college football history, as the sport began playing a standalone championship game in 2006 and moved to a four-team playoff in 2014. It will expand to a 12-team format next season.