BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
This is my fifth and last story covering the National Championship coaches at the University of Alabama.
Nick Saban was born on Oct. 31, 1951, in West Virginia. He played football at Kent State from 1970-1972 and was teammates with Gary Pinkel and Hall of Famer Jack Lambert.
Don James was his coach. Saban credits James for him going into coaching. Saban’s wife, Terry, had a year to finish school; James talked Saban into being a grad assistant. The rest is history.
Between 1973-1989, Saban was an assistant for six colleges and one pro team. In 1990 his first head coach position was at Toledo. They went 9-2 and were co-champs of the MAC.
He was hired as defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns under Bill Bellichek and coached there from 1991-94.
Michigan State hired Saban as head coach and he coached there from 1995-1999. The process was started there. In 1998, Michigan State upset #1 Ohio State 28-24.
In 1999, Michigan State was 9-2 when Saban was offered the Louisiana State University (LSU) job. Saban resigned and left for LSU before the bowl game.
Saban had to hire a brand new staff at LSU. In 2000, they went 8-4. In 2001, they were 10-3 and won the SEC and Sugar Bowl.
In 2002, they went 8-5 due to a quarterback injury. In 2003, their record was 13-1 and they were SEC and BCS National Champions. The next year, LSU’s record was 9-3.
Saban then left LSU and for the next two years was head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Their record was 15-17. Coach Mal Moore of Alabama made the call to go after Saban. It worked.
In 2007, Alabama went 7-6. In 2008, they record was 12-2 and in 2009 they went undefeated 14-0 and were SEC Champions and National Champions.
In 2010, they went 10-3. In 2011, they won the National Championship with 12-1 record. In 2012, their record was 13-1 and they were SEC and National Champions.
In 2013, their record was 11-2. In 2014, they went 12-2 and were SEC Champs. In 2015, the Tide’s record was 14-1 and they were SEC Champions and National Champions.
In 2016, they went 14-1 and were SEC Champions. In 2017, Alabama’s record was 13-1 and were National Champions.
Nick Saban has coached at Alabama for 11 seasons. His teams have won five National Championships and five SEC Championships. Saban has won six national championships, one LSU and five at Alabama.
He is tied with Paul “Bear” Bryant, who won all his National Championship at Alabama. The possibly of breaking Coach Bryant’s national championship record is very good.
The nice thing about that is it will probably happen at Alabama.
Next week, I will cover Alabama’s first All-America player.