Nick Saban offered Ricky Williams a job on his Alabama staff
When the 1998 Heisman Trophy winner was trying to get the job at Incarnate Word, he reached out to two of his former coaches for letters of recommendation. Both Mack Brown and Nick Saban came through for him, but Saban did him one better.
According to USA Today’s Laken Littman, Saban actually offered Ricky the opportunity to work on his staff at Alabama. Williams turned it down, perhaps feeling more comfortable working with Incarnate Word instead, but is considering the offer for the future.
But can you believe this? How odd of a pairing are those two?
Saban is one of the most demanding, straight-edge, no-nonsense coaches in college football. Ricky was suspended for an entire season for a reported fourth violation of the league’s substance abuse policy because he continuously smoked weed. He left Saban’s Miami Dolphins in 2006 and played in Canada because of the suspension. However, Williams rushed for 743 yards and six touchdowns for Saban in 2005.
The two must have formed a connection, because Williams says Saban is the coach he wants to emulate most.
“He’s his own person,” Williams told Littman. “And when people are being their own person, it’s going to look different for every person, but it’s going to be a quality you can recognize that they’re a pioneer and do their own thing.
“He’s willing to be whatever is required in a certain situation. That’s what I liked about him. That he was different.”
Saban called Williams as good of a player as you’d like to coach, a great competitor, and said the running back loved to play.
“He was a great competitor, very smart guy,” Saban says. “He’s very bright, so I think he’d be a really good coach and certainly when he gets experience, having him on our staff someday is something that we would consider.”
Saban, Williams? The pairing seems unlikely, yet it makes some sense. And despite turning down Saban at first, Ricky says he would eventually like to spend a season with Saban’s staff to see what it’s like.