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#pounditThursday, March 23, 2023

Nick Saban considered leaving coaching for ESPN job, new book says

Sep 11, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban has entrenched himself as arguably the best college football coach ever. But there was a time when he apparently gave serious consideration to leaving the profession for a career in broadcasting.

A new book about Saban called “The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban” is due out in August. The book reveals that after Alabama suffered its infamous “Kick Six” loss to Auburn in late 2013, Saban considered going into broadcasting.

The Alabama coach met with an ESPN executive about the possibility of joining “College GameDay.” According to the book, Saban quizzed the ESPN executive “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.”

As you know, Saban ended up remaining at Alabama because he decided he still wanted to coach.

Saban had been at Alabama for seven seasons to that point. He has coached Bama for nine more seasons since then, making it 16 years overall for Saban at Tuscaloosa. He has won six national championships, posted an .880 winning percentage, and gone undefeated twice at Alabama. It’s a good thing for Tide fans that Saban decided not to leave coaching for broadcasting. But you can understand why broadcasting might have been enticing at the time.

Alabama was 11-0 entering their game against rival Auburn. Then they lost in the most heartbreaking, improbable fashion. They went from being No. 1 and having championship aspirations to losing to their rival and losing their bowl game. Is there any wonder after that crushing finish to the season why Saban might have reconsidered his future?

Keep in mind, it was that same offseason when Saban reportedly was considering leaving for the Texas job. Everything was on the table for the coach.

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