As he prepares to enter season No. 14 as head coach of the University of Alabama football program, the question is what continues to drive Nick Saban toward success?
While he has the players, coaches and fans to thank for it, there is another piece of ammunition that’s greatly helped the 68-year-old. He may never admit to it and no one expects him to, but national media has also played a great role in Saban’s push.
Since being hired in January of 2007, he has faced doubters in the form of radio talk show hosts, journalists and television analysts.
When he came in stating how he was going to give the Crimson Tide fan base a program it could be proud of, the initial thought was it would take six years for Saban to obtain his first national championship. He accomplished the feat in half the time, which shocked some.
After failing to win a national title in 2013 and 2014, media pundits began crafting stories on how Alabama’s run of championships was over.
Despite this, Saban used it as fuel to pull his team together and it went on to win a College Football Playoff title in 2015. Naysayers have even come in the form of Saban no longer being the top recruiting head coach in the sport.
His age has been used against him countless times, as people viewed Dabo Swinney (Clemson), Kirby Smart (Georgia), Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss), Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma) and Jim Harbaugh (Michigan) as coaches that relate better to young athletes.
All Saban has done is prove he can “Cupid Shuffle” and “Electric Slide” at the home of recruits.
The classes for 2019 and 2020 were strong groups and the 2021 class is heating up.
Things have returned to championships as Saban is one away from passing the legendary Paul W. “Bear” Bryant. Analysts such as Paul Finebaum said Saban’s window is closing and the time is running out on a national title. On Monday, yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine explained why Saban gets his best motivation from national media via In My Own Words.
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