Nick Saban is putting together a legendary career as a head coach. He will look to get one step closer to his fifth national championship when his Crimson Tide plays the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day.
From coaching, to raising kids, to acting, Saban has done it all.
Here’s what you should know about him.
1. Saban is Married and a Father of 2
Nick and Terry met in seventh grade at a 4-H science club. The two married when they were both 20, after spending time working on a long-distance relationship while Nick was studying at Kent State and Terry was teaching in West Virginia.
2. Saban Played Himself in ‘The Blind Side’
Saban had a brief scene in ‘The Blind Side,’ the movie based on Tennessee Titans linesman Michael Oher. In it, Saban plays himself, visiting Oher’s house and trying to recruit him to Alabama.
Saban told AL.com that it was “an out-of-body experience.”
A behind the scene clip, featuring Saban and the other coaches involved, can be seen above.
3. Saban Attended Kent State During the Kent State Shooting
Saban was a student at Kent State on May 4, 1970, the day the National Guard fired upon students who had burned down the school’s ROTC building as a way of protesting the Vietnam War. The shooting that took place killed four students.
SportsbyBrooks.com reported Saban’s story.
According to the story, Saban planned on going to the protest even though he knew he wasn’t allowed. However, he and his roommate decided they would stop to have lunch first. It was this pause that may have saved their lives. Saban said that one of the victims, Allison Krause, was a classmate of his.
4. Saban’s Coaching Career Started at Kent State
Saban’s first coaching stint came as a graduate assistant at Kent State. After those two seasons, he became a defensive assistant with the team. However, according to a Sports Illustrated article, he never panned on making a career out of it. Instead, he was going to join the automotive industry. That all changed once he started coaching.
From Kent State, Saban went to Syracuse followed by West Virginia, where he was a defensive assistant with both schools. He spent a year at Ohio State working with defensive backs, but went back to defensive assistant when he left there for Navy. He then revised his role of working with defensive backs after going to Michigan State and kept that role in his season with the Houston Oilers.
After his first NFL stint, he got his first head coaching job, which was with Toledo. After a season there, he went back to the NFL and was the defensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns. After three years there, he went back to Michigan State, this time as the head coach.
Since then, he has remained a head coach, going to LSU, the Miami Dolphins and, finally, Alabama. His first National Championship came in 2003 with LSU, followed by three with Alabama, in 2009, 2011 and 2012. His all time college record is 177-58-1, going 8-7 in bowl games. His two seasons in the NFL ended with a 15-17 record.
5. No College Coach Has Won More Than Five National Championships
Right now, Saban is tied for second with Frank Leahy of Notre Dame with four National Championships. Bear Bryant is alone at the top of the list with five, but that may change very soon.
Saban’s record-breaking road will need a win in this year’s Sugar Bowl to have a chance at tying the other legendary Crimson Tide coach this season.