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15 Things That I Could Never Do and Say While in The Presence of Nick Saban

Updated on October 10, 2014
Crimson Tide head coach, Nick Saban
Crimson Tide head coach, Nick Saban
Nick and Terry Saban
Nick and Terry Saban
Bama royalty: Paul "Bear" Bryant and Saban
Bama royalty: Paul "Bear" Bryant and Saban


January 3, 2007: The day that the earth turned Crimson. This was the day that all of the University of Alabama (Crimson Tide) fans will remember for when then-Athletic director, the late Mal Moore hired the elusive Nick Saban away from the NFL’s Miami Dolphins for a hefty contract and more-hefty bonus for doing one thing: Winning.

That’s it. Winning. Not tolerating a sub-average performance by the Tide who was fashioned by the legendary Paul “Bear” Bryant. Not just casually playing to be an average team, but the “best” in all of the SEC. Period. If there were any that doubted Mal Moore’s decision to hire Nick Saban, the number around the University of Alabama and the state as well, were very few. Moore, with the faith of a travelling faith-healer, along with Alabama President, Robert Witt, made one flight to Miami (during Bama head coach, Mike Shula’s last Iron Bowl) to meet with Nick Saban and offer him what “was” the wealthiest-contract for a college coach ever.

Saban shares his thouights with a referee
Saban shares his thouights with a referee | Source

Nick Saban: His history

Nicholas Lou "Nick" Saban, Jr. (born October 31, 1951) is an American college football coach, and the current head football coach of the University of Alabama, a position he has held since the 2007 season. Saban previously served as head coach of the National Football League's Miami Dolphins and three other universities: Louisiana State University, Michigan State University, and the University of Toledo. His eight-year contract totaling US$32 million made him one of the highest paid football coaches, professional or college, in the United States at the time. He appeared on the September 1, 2008, cover of Forbes magazine as "The Most Powerful Coach in Sports". Saban's career record as a college head coach is 169–58-1.

Saban led the LSU Tigers to the BCS National Championship in 2003 and the Alabama Crimson Tide to BCS and AP national championships in the 2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons, making him the first coach in college football history to win a national championship with two different Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools. Saban and Bear Bryant are the only coaches to win an SEC championship at two different schools. In May 2013, he was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Source: WikiPedia

Wayne Huizenga, then- owner of The Miami Dolphis
Wayne Huizenga, then- owner of The Miami Dolphis


Hardly anyone of football fandom, argued or disagreed with Moore, for they had followed Saban’s career, the hard-nose perfectionist who turned Michigan State into a Big 10 power house which was no surprise to fans of this “super-human” who considers a 12-hour workday an “easy” day.

No matter where Saban has coached, success has followed him. From Toledo to Michigan State, then to LSU where he won a National Championship, then Wayne Huizenga, the owner of Blockbuster movie rental, and the Miami Dolphins, sent his private plane to Saban from his Louisiana residence to fly him to South Miami Beach to assume control of the Dolphins.

Despite Saban’s on-air protests and denials about him going to Alabama to coach the Tide, he angered Huizenga and the Dolphin organization when it was said that Saban’s doting wife, Terry, said, “I am tired of living in South Beach, Florida and “we” need to look at Mr. Moore’s contract,” which husband, Nick, did not only look at Moore’s offer, but take it without any remorse. “It (the coaching move) will be in our family’s best interest,” Nick said in a press conference after the jet from the University of Alabama landed at the airport in Tuscaloosa.

In Nick Saban’s career as head coach of The Crimson Tide, he has won two National Championship’s, an SEC Championship, and major bowl appearances. Something in a short look backward, was something Bama fans were not used to: Winning—which did spoil the Bama fans as it would any fans who follow a particular sport.

But that was what Saban was hired for.


Do you Like Nick Saban?



(Don't know Nick Saban)

(Thanks for asking)

Dr. Robert Witt, President of University of Alabama helping to make announcement of the hiring of Nick Saban
Dr. Robert Witt, President of University of Alabama helping to make announcement of the hiring of Nick Saban

15 Things I Could Never Say or Do While in Nick Saban’s Presence

(Things that I cannot say):

  • “Your wife, Terry, is certainly a hot-looking gal for her age.”
  • “Where does your salary go, Nick?”
  • “In your time as head coach, have you gotten any hot majorette action?”
  • “You are known for your intense temper, Nick, but do you use angry outbursts at Terry?”
  • “Have you ever thought about working for a sanitation department in some city rather than coaching?”
  • “I think your grandson favors your rival, Gus Malzone of Auburn.”
  • “I think I can call plays for your team as good as you can.”
  • “Coach Saban, are you impressed with my confidence?”

(Things that I cannot do):

  • Make faces (like a clown in the circus) while Saban is talking.
  • Doze-off to sleep while we are eating.
  • Start up a conversation with someone across the room while Nick is talking.
  • Wave for a sharp-looking woman to come over to our table.
  • Stand up and yell, “Hey, folks! This is my first cousin, Nick Saban, head coach of the Crimson Tide.”
  • Wear the exact same clothes he does for our lunch appointment.
  • Start doing animal impressions and draw attention to our table.
  • If Nick’s wife, Terry, dines with us, start making inappropriate remarks to her.”

Note: as you well know, I usually write this type of lists for others so they can succeed in private and social circumstances. But this time I have hopefully helped myself, so I am going to need one of my valued-followers to write me a list of “How I Can Avoid Being Yelled-At by Nick Saban,” because I am terrible at following my own advice. (KA)

Saban takes "Gatorade bath" in BCS Natonal Championship beating Texas
Saban takes "Gatorade bath" in BCS Natonal Championship beating Texas
The late Mal Moore Athletic director, University of Alabama
The late Mal Moore Athletic director, University of Alabama
From left, Dr. Witt; Terry Saban; Nick Saban
From left, Dr. Witt; Terry Saban; Nick Saban
The animated Nick Saban
The animated Nick Saban

A chronology of comments about Nick Saban taking the head coaching job at Alabama:

Nov. 27:
Saban: "When I was in college it was always about coming to the pros. This is the challenge I wanted. I had a good college job. Why would I have left that if I was going to be interested in other college jobs?

"I took this as a challenge. We certainly haven't seen this through and gotten where we want to go and finished the job here, so why would I be interested in something else?"

Dec. 5:
Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga (after giving Saban a vote of confidence): "I am completely sold on Nick Saban. I would admit we made a mistake if we did make a mistake, but I firmly believe in Nick Saban."

Dec. 7:
Saban: "I'm flattered that they may have been interested in me, but it never really progressed, because we just never let it progress."

Dec. 21:
Saban: "I guess I have to say it. I'm not going to be the Alabama coach. ... I don't control what people say. I don't control what people put on dot-com or anything else. So I'm just telling you there's no significance, in my opinion, about this, about me, about any interest that I have in anything other than being the coach here."

Dec. 27:
Saban: "I'm just making a rule to never comment on something like that again because every time you comment on it, it just makes for another story. So I'm not going to comment on it five years from now, and I'm not going to comment on it next week."

Jan. 4:
Saban: "What I realized in the last two years is that we love college coaching because of the ability that it gives you to affect people, young people. ... If I knew that my heart was someplace else in what I wanted to do, I don't think it would be fair to the [Dolphins] organization if I stayed."


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, vkwok,

      You are way too kind to me, my dear friend.

      I just hope that one day I can pay back the kindness you have shown me.

      God bless you and yours richly.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 

      4 years ago from Hawaii

      Reading your hubs was a great way to start my morning!

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Yep. You are correct. He should have said that he was "considering" leaving the Miami Dolphins, and even talk privately with Mr. Wayne about this move. I never understood this either, or when Tommy Tuberville was at Ole Miss and Auburn approached him. Tuberville did the same thing, "Naaaw, I am happy at Ole Miss," but the next Monday, bam! Auburn bound.

      I was one of the ones who really got angry at his decision to expect to make that field goal. In OT, they would have had a better chance to win.

      You already know tihs, but if ANY coach at Bama only beats Au and Tenn, they have a job. What Saban has done, and I am not complaining, as really set the bar high for his predecessaor if and when he retires.

      Come back soon and we can talk again.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Thank you so very much for your comment. I agree with you on the "he is another Vince Lombardi," but I think Saban may be a bit tougher, and short-tempered than Vince was.

      I wonder that when Nick, Jr. gets married and some jerk acts-up at his wedding, what will Nick . . .I think we both know.

      Hey, have a safe night.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Faith Reaper,

      Kevin? Kenneth. That's me. Or you might be talking to a "Kevin" who commented. I am just glad to hear from you.

      Yes, it is funny to see him explode, but I will bet you that he doesn't do this when he is with Miss Terry, his gracious wife. I hear that "she" TCB at their home.

      LOL. Thanks for being so faithful, Faith Reaper.

      I appreciate you so much.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Lol, Kevin, funny stuff here and great insight into the man! I love reading his lips during a game when he is mad ... yikes. ROLL TIDE ROLL! For your sake, I hope Nick doesn't read some of your funny remarks hee hee.

    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 

      4 years ago from Auburn, WA

      There is something very dislikeable about Nick Saban. I think it was those lies he told to the press about going to Alabama. I know that can be dismissed as "everyone lies to the press." But he puts himself out there as this paragon of educational virtue, then you cannot flat out lie to the public (if we think of the press as an extension of outselves). And if you read the reports about his behavior as coach of the Dolphins, then you have to come away with a real negative impression of the guy.

      And contrary to the previous comment about picking "lifestyle over the pros," that's more Saban spin. He couldn't hack it in the NFL, that's why he coaches in college. Nothing wrong with that, but again don't lie about it.

      And look to last year's Iron Bowl between 'Bama and Auburn. Saban chose to kick this ridiculous 50+ yard field goal instead of letting the clock run out and go to OT. In college, very few guys can make even a 40+ field goal most of the time. So his kicker was short, the ball was caught and ran back for a TD. Then Saban proceeded to throw his own players under the bus at the press conference. Why not criticize his own decision? Not one media member would dare question his "greatness." I need to stop. Think everyone knows where I stand. Good article. Voted up.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image


      4 years ago from Orange, Texas

      Sounds like the guy knows what it takes to make a winning football team - another legend like Vince Lombardi. Well done on the background.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear sheilamyers,

      Thank you for your comment. NIck Saban is an interesting man. His biography is so full of good life lessons taught to him by his dad, Lou. He loves his job and so soes his nice wife, Terry.

      They are grandparents now and he worships his grandson.

      Thanks again for being my friend.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Nick? Is that whom you said, what a guy? Oh, now I see. Yep, he choose to teach young men about life via football is what he said once in an interiew.

      And he earns that nearly $5 million a year too.

      Thanks for your nice comment.

      I wish you peace and an open invitation to come back anytime.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I don't know enough about this guy to make a comment about your lists. Thanks for telling us something about him.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a guy! Very interesting about choosing lifestyle over the Pros, he definitely is a winner!


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