Last summer, Alabama coach Nick Sabanto stay as coach of the Crimson Tide until 2028. It was further proof that the legendary coach who is widely regarded as one of the greatest of all time is dedicated to staying with the program until his retirement. However, a new book reveals that his coaching career was almost over long before that extension was signed.
Saban considered hanging up his headphones in 2014 and joining ESPN as a television analyst according to new book “The Leadership Secrets of Nick Saban,” by AL.com sports editor John Talty, whose release is scheduled for August 9. According to The New York Post, the book reveals that Saban met with agent Nick Khan, who represented several high profile media figures at the time, before the 2013 season to discuss the possibility of joining ESPN. Saban had just won back-to-back BCS championships and had led the Crimson Tide to three of the previous four national championships.
Plans were put on hold during the regular season, which saw Alabama earn 11 straight pre-Iron Bowl wins over Auburn – which served as the de facto SEC West championship game for the first time since the conference’s divisional split. in 1992. That game provided one of the most iconic moments in college football history, the “Kick Six”, when Auburn defensive back/returner Chris Davis received a missed field goal on the back of the end zone and went 109 yards for a touchdown when time expired. to secure a 34-28 win at Auburn, the division title, and prevent Alabama from winning its third consecutive national title.
Crimson Tide’s season ended with a loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, which accelerated talks with ESPN. Saban allegedly “allowed Khan to reach out to ESPN with the message that Saban was considering the next chapter of his career and wondering if the media should be a part of it,” according to the book.
Despite a serious interest in becoming a television analyst, Saban ultimately decided to stay in Alabama.
“If he wasn’t interested, he never would have,” Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack, who worked with ESPN at the time, said in the book. “But I didn’t think he was ready to step down as a coach either.”
Saban has won three national championships and six SEC titles since discussions with the network.