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On January 11, the Alabama Crimson Tide won their fourth national championship in the seven years (2007-present) that Nick Saban has coached the team. Saban also won a championship in 2003 when he was the head coach of the Louisiana State Tigers, a position he held for four years (2000-2004). In between that three-year gap, Saban was an NFL head coach for the Miami Dolphins. After his fifth national title, Saban may be eyeing another shot in the NFL. He may be the coaching answer for some of the league’s franchises.
With Saban looking forward to a bright coaching future, one that could be with the NFL, his past years coaching college football has been successful as well. Saban had a little taste of coaching for the NFL when he was the defensive coordinator for three years for the Cleveland Browns (1991-1994) and also as a head coach for the Miami Dolphins (2005-2006). Saban did spend the majority of his coaching career as a college football head coach for a handful of teams. He started his coaching career with the University of Toledo in 1989 as he was hired to be the head coach of the Rockets. That year, the team finished with a record of being 9-2 and also followed their regular season with winning a co-championship title of the Mid-American Conference.
Michigan State University also had a chance to have Saban as their head coach from 1995-1999. The first three seasons were experimental and a growing process for the Spartans. Soon after though, Saban found his groove and led the team to a 9-2 record. That season was the best season the Spartans have had since their 1965 season. Saban resigned for a new coaching position prior to the Citrus Bowl, which was Michigan State’s final game and final win of the season over Florida.
Saban resigned from Michigan State for a head coach position at Louisiana State University. Within the next five years, Saban started another successful coaching streak of incredible regular season records, bowl game wins, and championships. LSU did not lose more than five games each season, and all five years consisted of bowl game victories. In 2003, Saban led the Tigers to a 13-1 season and also a Bowl Championship Series Championship Title over the Oklahoma Sooners with a score of 21-14. After one more season with the Tigers that next year, where they finished 9-3, Saban resigned to be the head coach of the Miami Dolphins.
In a whole new ball game, Coach Saban started off his NFL career with a 9-7 season. That following year, he had his first disappointing season and his successful record streak plummeted to a surprising 6-10. After only two seasons as head coach for an NFL team, Saban accepted an offer to coach for the University of Alabama.
In seven years with the Crimson Tide, Saban managed to lead the team to win four national championships (2009, 2011, 2012 and 2015). The next step is coaching his team on whether they need to stay with the team or move on to go out for the NFL draft. Many may be questioning if that includes coaching himself to go back to coaching for the NFL. After two failing seasons with the Dolphins, Saban may be ready for an NFL comeback.
It may be time for the NFL to bring back and steal Alabama’s head coach, Nick Saban. Every other season with coaching college football, Saban has seen success and managed to coach his teams up, despite some of them having struggling seasons prior to having Saban as their coach. With the few years of experience he had in the NFL, he has seen the most success as a head coach for college football. His calling could be away from the NFL and Saban may be most compatible with college football whether if that is coaching Alabama for another seven years or moving on to start another legacy elsewhere.
Commentary by Tricia Manalansan
ESPN: Alabama’s Nick Saban focused on future, not retirement
NBC Sports: Does fifth NCAA title push Saban back to the NFL?
NY Daily News: Giants a possible landing spot if Nick Saban leaves Alabama for NFL
Image Courtesy of Hodor Groot’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License