There’s Nick Saban, detail wonk on the recruiting trail:
“We have a scale 1-5 for let’s say linebacker, 6′3″ may be a one, 6′2″ a two, and you go right down the scale, also you have a weight criteria that is on the same scale and then you have a speed criteria that is on the same scale,” Saban said. “So, if we had a 5′11″ linebacker for example and the number one scale was 240 and the running speed was 4.6 and he was 5′11″, 240, 4.6, he is a 5-1-1, which is 7 divided by 3. Because he overcomes his size with great speed and has the weight, he ends up being a guy that is a potential prospect, as long as you go to the position criteria and he ranks very highly, because he has to overcome a deficiency.”
Then, there’s Nick Saban, the most powerful coach… not just in the SEC… not just in college football… but the most powerful coach in sports, per Forbes.
… But in Tuscaloosa, which was desperate to return to national football prominence, Saban, 56, was a savior, welcomed with an open wallet. Saban, with his agent, James E. Sexton II, negotiated an eight-year, $32 million contract that was, at the time, the highest salary ever paid to a college coach. It remains among the highest and is bigger than all but a handful of NFL coaching salaries. His deal includes, among other perks, 25 hours of private use of a university airplane, two cars and a country club membership, extras that make his annual compensation closer to $5 million a year, estimates Smith College economics professor Andrew Zimbalist. He can leave the school at any time without financial penalty, a rarity in big-time college coaching contracts.
What’s more, he was given total control of the football program: recruiting, coaching, business administration and public relations. There are coaches at other universities who have similar salaries, like Charlie Weis at Notre Dame and Pete Carroll at the University of Southern California. But no coach, including those in the professional leagues, can match Saban’s combination of money, control and influence. Saban, now entering his second year as the coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, is the most powerful coach in sports.
But there’s a softer side to Saban, as well. From p. 183 of The Blind Side, this story of his visit to Michael Oher’s home:
Then [Saban] looked around, as if soaking in every last detail of the Olde English and Country French furnishings, and said, “What a lovely home. I just love those window treatments.” I just love those window treatments. He didn’t say, “I just love the way you put together the Windsor valances with the draw drapes,” but he might as well have…
LMAO. Of course, he checked out of LSU three weeks later, but the memory lingered, I’m sure.