Alabama coach Nick Saban may be the best coach in college football, but he certainly isn’t the most popular amongst his peers. Multiple coaches have been critical of Saban’s overbearing approach to the game, with some even drawing comparisons to the devil.
As a proud alumnus of the University of Tennessee who hates all things Alabama football, I find it hard to not give coach Saban anything less than the utmost respect. A coach as successful as Saban should receive the same acclaim from his peers.
Saban has won the past two BCS national championships and three since joining the Tide in 2007. Before joining Alabama, Saban led LSU to a 2003 national championship victory.
Saban owns a 154-55-1 college coaching record and has led Alabama to a dominant 68-13 record over the course of six seasons. Saban’s coaching tree of assistants have found successful jobs throughout college football and have adopted his approach to coaching.
So why so much criticism for Saban? Is the disdain amongst opposing coaches truly based on his personality or more so his success?
Saban’s character may be criticized after lying on record about his interest in the Alabama coaching position while still coaching the Miami Dolphins. He may also be one of the sternest coaches in college football.
But Saban demands success out of his players and gets them to play to their full potential. Alabama has had top recruiting classes each season since Saban took over the helm.
Nick Saban has coached or recruited 111 NFL Draft picks between 1991-2013. The list includes 33 players drafted in his six years at the University of Alabama.
For all the criticism his style of coaching receives, Saban gets results and it is likely that his players are all the more grateful for it.
When you’re the top dog, people will look to take you down. Petty comments made by rivals and former assistant coaches attempting to gain media attention likely have little effect on Saban nor his success.
However, a coach of the magnitude of Nick Saban should receive high acclaim and respect from his peers and rival coaches.