Is Nick Saban difficult to work for? Here’s what the Alabama coach said.

Does Nick Saban have a sense of humor? Ask his quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, only if we have a big lead

Does Nick Saban have a sense of humor? Ask his quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, only if we have a big lead
Up Next
Does Nick Saban have a sense of humor? Ask his quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, only if we have a big lead

Alabama’s football success under Nick Saban has led many other programs seeking to replicate it through hiring Crimson Tide assistant coaches through the years.

This past offseason, for example, saw seven assistants leave the program.

So on Wednesday at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Alabama, Saban was asked if he was difficult to work for.

“Well, I don’t know. You have to ask some of the people that work for me,” Saban said. “Always interesting that, you know, they may say that, but then when they get a job and they go do it, they do it exactly like we did it. So, I don’t know.”

Saban, 67, elaborated further:

“But we have a difficult job. We have 125 players on our team. They are all adolescents. They need a lot of support. They need a lot of direction. They need a lot of leadership. Recruiting has become, you know, 24/7 because we’ve created a scenario where we have to recruit constantly because we’re recruiting guys in advance as we move up the recruiting calendar.

“So none of this is easy. And I think, when you’re in a position of leadership and you’re trying to make people be accountable and responsible to a standard that’s going to help you continue to have success, that sometimes you have to make people do things that they really don’t want to do that may be in the best interest of the overall organization.

“So am I willing to do that? Absolutely. So you have to make a choice and decision: You want to do it right, or you want to make everybody happy? No different than raising your children. I go through this with Terry when we’re raising our kids. She wanted to make them happy, and I wanted to make them do right.

“So I don’t know. I like for them to do right and be happy doing right. That’s what I’d like for them to do. And that’s the same thing I like for our coaches.

In addition to that response, Saban also dismissed the one-sided stat about his record against former assistants. Saban has never lost to a former assistant during his tenure with the Crimson Tide.

He’s 16-0 in his 12 years leading Alabama football back to its role as a national powerhouse.

Saban said Wednesday that’s not a very fair stat.

“All of the former assistants that we have, they get jobs. They don’t take a program over that has the established, you know, talent, culture, and all that that we have at Alabama,” Saban said. “So when they get the opportunity to establish those things in their program, they’re going to be able to beat Alabama and compete with Alabama.”

Sports reporter Jason has covered high school, college and pro sports since joining the Bradenton Herald in 2010. He’s won Florida Press Club awards for sports feature and column writing. He currently writes college and pro sports stories for the McClatchy East Region real-time team.