Since his unsuccessful two-year stint as head coach of the Dolphins, Nick Saban has gone on to win four National Championships at Alabama. You can probably forgive him for realizing college football is where he belongs.
In an interview with Emily Kaplan for TheMMQB.com, Saban speaks candidly about his time in the NFL. After posting a 15-17 record in two seasons, Saban returned to college, where he had previously built prestigious programs at Michigan State and LSU.
Saban realizes now that the college game was always what’s right for him.
“I guess there was a time when I said, O.K. if you win a national championship in college, because I was a pro coach for however many years I was, it’s time to go win the Super Bowl. That would make my career complete. But when I did that, I found out that I missed some of these things about college that were really important to me. So you learn about yourself. I just decided when I came back here, I wasn’t going to think about that any more.
“I used to think at the end of the day, being a head coach in the NFL was the No. 1 thing. But when I got to that, it was like, well maybe you already had the No. 1 thing for you and what you like.”
It’s not like Saban’s track record as a head coach in the NFL was horrific, unlike some who make the jump from college. He had the background as well, having spent some time as a position coach with the Oilers and a coordinator for the Browns. Saban could be a successful at the pro level if he wanted.
But he doesn’t. At least it seems genuine that Saban is just happier in college football. And while he might be a good NFL coach, he’s great where he’s at, as proven by the program he’s assembled at Alabama.
So in case there was any doubt, it seems we can close the book on Saban going back to the NFL. Of course, he also said he wasn’t leaving the Dolphins to take the Alabama job, and we saw how that worked out.