Nick Saban reportedly considered leaving Alabama for ESPN job after Kick Six
Nick Saban is no stranger to appearing on ESPN. He understands the role media plays in today’s recruiting landscape, so he often goes on with the ESPN College GameDay crew ahead of Alabama’s big matchups.
But, according to a new book by John Talty called “The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban,” the legendary Alabama coach almost left Tuscaloosa to take a job at ESPN after the iconic Kick Six loss to Auburn in 2013.
The book reports that after the season, Saban asked Nick Khan, who was a sports media talent agent at CAA who represented several big-name media personalities, to begin discussions with ESPN (via the New York Post):
When the season ended, Saban is said to have “empowered Khan to reach out to ESPN with the message Saban was thinking about the next chapter in his career and considering whether media should be a part of that.”
Khan, now the co-CEO of WWE, then apparently set up a meeting in Pasadena, Calif., with Saban, his coaching agent, Jimmy Sexton (also of CAA), and Syracuse’s Athletics Director John Wildhack, who was then a senior executive at ESPN.
Saban is said to have “zeroed in” on the possibility of joining ESPN’s “College GameDay,” and “quizzed” Wildhack on a number of questions about life at ESPN, organizational structure and if it was like “working on a team” — a characteristic that was of much importance to Saban.
Saban, of course, has won 3 more national titles (2015, 2017 and 2020) since that iconic loss at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
Perhaps a stint at ESPN is in his future, but he’s not leaving Alabama just yet.