Nick Saban hilariously explains how ignoring his Aunt Katie led to loss to Eli Manning in 2001
Nick Saban isn’t the only great football mind in his family tree. From the sounds of it, there may have been some others in the Saban family who knew a thing or 2 about how to succeed on the gridiron.
That includes Saban’s late Aunt Katie, who died in 2017. And the Alabama head coach has a story that shows just how much she knew about football, too.
During his appearance on the new ESPN+ series “Eli’s Places” hosted by Eli Manning, Saban recalled a time that he was the head coach at LSU and went up against Manning and Ole Miss. It was a matchup between the schools that took place on Oct. 27, 2001, and Saban had just recently heard from his aunt.
“Aunt Katie in West Virginia, who worked in a post office, and she was probably in her 70s, maybe almost 80, she used to send me a game plan almost every week when I was the coach at LSU,” Saban said. “And it would just be a postcard-type thing and it would have tips to win the game. So we’re getting ready to play you guys, and she puts in her note, ‘You need to go no-huddle against these guys because this radar defense is going to mess your quarterback up.’ And I was just like, ‘So what? We’ll be able to handle it.'”
Turns out Aunt Katie was right, and maybe Saban should have listened. LSU quarterback Rohan Davey struggled as the Tigers went on to lose, 35-24. Then, Aunt Katie reached out again.
“She called me the next day and said, ‘I told you to go no-huddle, you didn’t listen,'” Saban said.
Maybe if he had, LSU could have won that game.