BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban became the latest in a long line of great Crimson Tide sports figures inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday evening.
Saban arrived at the University of Alabama in January of 2007 and quickly revitalized the Crimson Tide program, returning it to the nation’s elite by the 2008 season. He won his first BCS National Championship at Alabama in 2009 before etching his name in the annals of college football with back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012.
Saturday night the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame will honor Saban for his accomplishments when they enshrine and celebrate the Class of 2013 during a banquet at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel.
“When you’re growing up as a kid, you always want to be able to do something of significance,” Saban said. “You hope that you can do something that affects people in a positive way and you leave some legacy at what you’ve done. Things like this make you realize that maybe you’ve done that, that your work has been recognized and that all the miles you drove in recruiting and all the family sacrifices that everybody had to make … it somehow makes you realize that it’s all worthwhile.”
Saban has won four National Championships in his past eight years coaching college football (LSU 2003), while also capturing four SEC Championships with coming at Alabama.
Saban, who will begin his seventh season in Tuscaloosa this fall, is a five-time National Coach of the Year. He is one of only four coaches in the modern-poll era of college football to win four National Championships, joining Paul “Bear” Bryant (Alabama: 1961, 64-65, 73, 78-79), Frank Leahy (Notre Dame: 1943, 46-47, 49) and John McKay (Southern California: 1962, 67, 72, 74). Saban is also one of three coaches in the poll era to win three national titles in a four-year span (Leahy and Nebraska’s Tom Osborne).
Saban has compiled a 154-55-1 (.737) record as a college head coach and has gone 61-7 (.897) in the past five seasons in Tuscaloosa, which includes a 35-5 mark in regular-season conference play. In 2012, the Tide reached the 10-win milestone for the fifth consecutive season under Saban. With another SEC Championship win and BCS National Championship Game victory last season, Saban is now 8-1 all-time in conference or national championship games.
Saban is one of eight members of the Class of 2013 inducted on Saturday evening. The group including Ronnie Baynes (SEC and NFL Official), the late Forrest Blue (Auburn center), Eric Davis (Jacksonville State football player), the late Bill Jones (North Alabama Basketball Coach), Bill Oliver (defensive coach at Alabama and Auburn), Vickie Orr (Auburn basketball) and Dannette Young State (Alabama A&M track and field).
“Anytime you get recognized with such a prestigious group of people that have been inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, it’s a tremendous honor,” Saban said.
A native of Fairmont, W.Va., Saban is a 1973 graduate of Kent State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business. He earned a master’s degree in sports administration from Kent State in 1975. Born Oct. 31, 1951, Saban and his wife, the former Terry Constable, have two children, Nicholas and Kristen.
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Courtesy: UA Media