TAMPA, Fla. — Alabama’s Nick Saban suffered one of the most heartbreaking losses of his career, but the Tide’s head coach wasn’t going to leave the field before finding Clemson coach Dabo Swinney to congratulate him.
The Tigers upset Alabama 35-31, scoring with one second left to win the College Football Playoff championship game at Raymond James Stadium on Monday night.
A wild celebration ensued, with Saban calmly wading his way through the Clemson celebration.
Saban explained why he was so determined to finish the night with a post-game handshake.
“Dabo is a friend, he’s an Alabama person, and I think he’s done a great job of managing and supporting the University of Alabama,” Saban said. “I have a lot of respect for him as a person and as a coach. He has a really good team.
“As disappointed as we were, I always think the classy thing to do is to congratulate the other person for what they were able to accomplish, especially for somebody that I consider a friend.”