There are a lot of new face gracing the stage at SEC Media Days this week who are inheriting tall tasks left by the schools previous head coach.
The head coaching turnover in the SEC has greatly intensified as four new head coaches have joined the conference in 2021 in Clark Lea (Vanderbilt), Bryan Harsin (Auburn), Josh Heupel (Tennessee) and Shane Beamer (South Carolina).
You can even take things step further by looking at the total of new coaches brought in since 2020 which brings it to a total of eight new coaches by adding Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss), Mike Leach (Mississippi State), Eli Drinkwitz (Missouri) and Sam Pittman (Arkansas).
Every program is trying to find the man who can match the success and longevity of Nick Saban at Alabama. As he enters season number 15 with the Crimson Tide, Saban has amassed a record 170-23 along with six national championships.
Cracking Saban’s code has been difficult and borderline unrepeatable, but during his podium time at SEC Media Days he shared the secret to having staying power as a head coach.
And it’s really rather simple.
“I think that’s simple,” Saban. “You’ve got to win.”
If Alabama has proven anything over the course of Saban’s tenure the term “simple” isn’t a great adjective to describe the creation of a dynasty. Thankfully Saban was a bit more descriptive.
“So what does it take to win? I think that answers the question better than anything,” Saban said. “I think you have to have culture in your organization, which probably comes from the mindset of the people in your organization to have goals and aspirations for what they want to accomplish and what they want to do – and I’m talking about players as well here – and they have to have a good understanding of what does it take to accomplish those goals and aspirations to be the best that they can be, and how do they have to edit their behavior to be able to do that and can they have the discipline, self-discipline on a daily basis to execute and do the things they need to do, make the choices and decisions they need to make, so that they can be the best that they can be?
“I think what we’ve always tried to do for our players is create more value for the players by how we use personal development, academic support, career development, the way we develop football players to create a successful culture for them to see the players before them, in terms of what they bought into, what they did that helped them be successful so the next player has the best chance to buy in to the same things and to that culture so they have the best chance to be successful and the best chance to develop personally, academically, and athletically.
“That’s how we try to win, but I think it’s probably good players, good coaches, supportive administration that gives you the tools that you need to be able to continue to provide the resources to help the players be successful are all probably key ingredients of that.”
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Patrick Dowd is a Reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter, via Pat_Dowd77