Love him or hate him, Nick Saban is going to go down as one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, coach in college football history.
What he’s done in his career is absolutely incredible. Seven national championships, 11 conference championships dating all the way back to his first season as a head coach at Toledo, and a coaching tree as tall as the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, there’s no arguing that he’s made as much or more of an impact on college football as just about anybody in the game.
Saban of course started his head coaching career at Toledo in 1990, where he went 9-2 and won a MAC championship before leaving for the NFL after only a year to take a job as defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns under then-Browns head coach Bill Belichick.
After four years with the Browns that Saban called the “worst of my life,” he went back to the college ranks as head coach at Michigan State for 5 seasons before jumping to the SEC as head coach at LSU.
It was at LSU when Saban truly began to build his legacy as a college football coaching legend, winning his first national championship in 2003.
But Saban once again left college football after the 2004 season and took a job back in the NFL as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
His tenure with the Dolphins was rough, to say the least. He only managed a 15-17 record in two seasons, and his team famously passed on signing quarterback Drew Brees, who was recovering from an injury at the time and had a bit of an unknown future ahead of him. The Dolphins ended up signing Daunte Culpepper over Brees, before benching him after just four games and releasing him the next year.
(Brees, obviously, would go on to become a legend in his own right with the New Orleans Saints, and leave Dolphins fans wondering “what-if” for years to come).
So yeah, kind of a dumpster fire.
But that decision by the Dolphins not to sign Brees just might have led to Nick Saban becoming one of the greatest college coaches of all time – because just as Miami was wrapping up a mediocre 6-10 season, the University of Alabama announced they were firing their head coach, Mike Shula.
Rumors immediately began to swirl that Alabama had their eyes set on hiring Saban, but Saban did his best to shut down the speculation, even telling the press at a weekly conference:
“I guess I have to say it. I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.”
Well the rest is history, because on this day in 2007, Saban was introduced as the new head coach at Alabama.
Since then, he’s racked up 8 SEC Championships, 6 national title game wins, 11 SEC Western Division championships, 4 SEC Coach of the Year Awards, and the 2020 Bear Bryant Award for Coach of the Year.
The list goes on and on.
Oh, and his team is playing for another national championship next week.
Love him or hate him, Saban is an absolute legend, thanks mostly to his time as head coach at Alabama.
And while Alabama fans surely love him, Saban has gained a reputation of being kind of an asshole off the field and in the media. He’s old school: A little sarcastic, pretty abrasive, but coming from a winner like Saban, it’s hilarious.
So in honor of his 15-year anniversary with the Crimson Tide, I thought it would be fun to go back and look at some of Saban’s best moments off the field during his time at Alabama.
Enjoy – unless you’re a Cincinnati fan of course, then it’s understandable if you’re still a little upset.
“You just think that whatever happens we just shit another player.”
“They run through our ass like shit through a tin horn.”
“I’m not going to. So quit asking.”
“Do you guys take math? Do you have math class? Did you learn how to add when you did have math class?”
“When you ask me those kinds of questions it really pisses me off.”
“For all you self absorbed folks out there that can’t look past your own self…”
“I just remember when I was a kid in West Virginia I was ashamed to go to school because my jeans were wore out…now they buy ’em that way. How’d we get here?”
“If I had a barometer up your ass to say whether you’re giving effort or not, it was about 50%.”
“You can get this bottle to respond to it because I don’t know anything more than that. I told you everything I know so you can ask the bottle but don’t ask me.”
“Hell, if I watch the film and I think it’s so-so maybe we’ll try to hire your ass.”
“Do you do what everybody else in the media does: Just create some shit and throw it at the wall and see what sticks?”
“There’s no arguments. Those are called ass chewings.”
“I don’t have any patience, so anything that happens is a test of my patience. Including sitting in this chair right now.”