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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Nick Saban shares thoughts on idea he is difficult to work for

Nick Saban

Nick Saban is a hard-nosed coach who expects a lot from both his players and assistant coaches, and that is the main reason many have said he is difficult to work for. If that’s what it takes to achieve greatness, the six-time national champion has no problem with that reputation.

While meeting with reporters at SEC Media Days on Wednesday, Saban was asked if all the turnover on his coaching staff is a reflection of him being tough to work for. He said he finds it ironic that people say that and then coach their own programs with a similar style to his.

“You have to ask some of the people that work for me,” he said. “Always interesting that, you know, they may say that, but then when they get a job and they go do it, they do it exactly like we did it. So, I don’t know.

Saban noted how recruiting has become a 24/7 ordeal, and he said no part of the job with being a college coach is easy. He also explained how he tries to hold members of his staff accountable and to a high standard, which sometimes means doing things they don’t want to do. He compared having assistant coaches to raising children.

“So you have to make a choice and decision: You want to do it right, or you want to make everybody happy? No different than raising your children,” he said. “I go through this with (my wife) Terry when we’re raising our kids. She wanted to make them happy, and I wanted to make them do right.”

While his leadership style may not be for everyone, there’s no denying Saban has helped countless coaches advance their careers. Even someone like Lane Kiffin — who takes swipes at Saban any chance he gets — understands how much working for the Alabama legend helped him. That’s the trade-off when you work under him.

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