Nick Saban reflects on his experience coaching in the NFL, why he prefers college football
It has seemingly become an annual tradition that when the college football season starts to wind down and the NFL’s “Black Monday” is looming, Nick Saban’s name pops up in the rumor mill. While Saban may be regularly linked to NFL jobs, Alabama fans don’t have to worry about the coach giving the pros one more try.
In a recent appearance on The Sean Pittman Show. Saban was asked about what he considers the “ultimate job.”
“I think I’m in it now because I have no circumstance that would interest me in leaving in any way, shape or form, which it’s been that way for a long time,” Saban said.
That’s not to say Saban doesn’t appreciate the professional game.
“I spent eight years total in the NFL, and I really enjoyed coaching in the NFL,” Saban said. “There’s a lot of positive things about competing at the highest level with the best players, and probably the most parity that the league has, which the league’s built on parity — all the rules try to make the teams as equal as positive, and I think that makes for a lot of great competition, lots of close games. So, there’s a lot of good things about it. I’ve always really loved college football, and every time I went to the NFL, I always came back to college. I was a secondary coach at the Houston Oilers. I came back to be the head coach at Toledo. I went to the Cleveland Browns the defensive coordinator for (Bill) Belichick and ended up going back to Michigan State as the head coach. I always thought that the ultimate goal was to be a head coach in the NFL, but all the time that I coached in the NFL, we didn’t have free agency. You had the same players on your team for a long time. It was a little bit different.
After recounting the roster management headaches with the Miami Dolphins, Saban explained why he prefers coaching at the college level.
“I just felt like we could control our own destiny in college a lot better, and I love college football because I thought you could have a greater impact on young people at the 18- to 22-year-old timeframe, aight,” Saban said. “And I love the NFL and I love the players … but your leadership and your influence and the kind of program that you can have to try to get players to do things that are going to help them be more successful in life, probably you can have a greater impact in college than you can in the NFL. I’ve always enjoyed that. My family always enjoyed it. My wife’s always been really involved with it. We’ve been very happy being in college football. But sometimes you learn about yourself when you do things like go to the NFL and you learn about yourself – ‘Oh, this is not exactly what I thought it was going to be. Look what I left. I left something that I loved.’ And I loved it at LSU, when I left LSU to go to the Miami Dolphins. You live and learn, I guess.”
[H/T Bama OnLine]