Nick Saban announced his retirement as the head football coach at Alabama. In a statement released on Wednesday, Saban said that the 17 years spent in Tuscaloosa weren’t just about wins and losses, but about legacy and how they went about it. Saban’s teams won three national championships during the Bowl Championship Series era and three more after the start of the College Football Playoff. In 10 seasons of the CFP, the Crimson Tide qualified eight times.

Former Mizzou Head Football Coach Gary Pinkel was a teammate of Saban’s back in their playing days at Kent State. On Thursday, Pinkel released his statement:

“How do you possibly come up with words that do justice to all that Nick has achieved and all that he has meant to college football? I’m sure most people will look at the championships, the wins, the awards and all of those things that stand out on paper. However, from my perspective as a former teammate and colleague, I would reflect on all of the lives he has transformed and impacted on and off the field. He has had a remarkable influence on the game that we all love so much and I’m glad to see him step away on his own terms, he earned that opportunity. I’m pleased for Nick, Terry and their family for this next stage of life, and I know he’ll continue to influence lives in meaningful ways. Just because you retire from the coaching profession, you’re always a coach, and that’s a special thing to take with you. He’s the best of all time and I’m proud to call him a friend. Welcome to retirement Nick, it’s well-deserved!”