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Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Saban's long coaching career may be over

Associated Press

MURFREESBORO, N.C. -- Lou Saban resigned as football coach of Division III Chowan on Wednesday after an 0-10 season, possibly ending a coaching career spanning five decades.

The 81-year-old Saban -- a former NFL, AFL and major-college coach -- had completed his first full season at the school. He led the team to a 2-3 record in 2001 as an interim coach after Steve Lee resigned.

Saban will be replaced by Steve Gill, Chowan's defensive backs coach.

"I am deeply grateful to Coach Saban for his willingness to step in at an awkward time to help Chowan's athletic program,'' school president Stanley Lott said. "He brought a wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience that is hard to find.''

Saban guided the Buffalo Bills to consecutive AFL championships in 1964-65, then jumped to the NFL, where he coached the Broncos, Patriots and the Bills again.

Next came the major colleges, including stops at Miami, Army, Northwestern and Maryland, and a 19-day stint as Cincinnati's athletic director.

Saban also was president of the New York Yankees from 1981-82, coached high school football from 1987-89 and got fired from an Arena Football League team after four games.

He had spent the past decade starting or rebuilding programs at places like Peru State, Canton Tech and Alfred State, where he left before the team played its first game. His previous NCAA job was at Central Florida in 1984.

Saban spent five years -- his longest tenure at any level -- at Canton Tech in New York before leaving after the 2000 season.

He came to Chowan in 2001 when a friend asked him if he could help the school raise money for a new stadium. He worked in the background before taking over when Lee resigned in October.