Saban: Winning is not enough

Alabama head football coach Nick Saban (Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, WBRC photo)
Alabama head football coach Nick Saban (Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, WBRC photo)

NEW ORLEANS (WBRC) - For a head football coach with a reputation of toughness and attention to detail, Nick Saban on Tuesday offered a more personal observation about the true meaning of success, especially in light of the recent tornadoes in Alabama.

The Alabama head coach spoke to reporters Tuesday morning a day after defeating the LSU Tigers in the BCS Championship game. After accepting the trophies, the 60-year-old was asked if he still has the same amount of motivation in him as he did when he started coaching 40 years ago.

"What do you think?" Saban responded, followed by laughter. "When a guy jumps offsides with three minutes to go in a game and you still coach your team like it's the first game of the season, what do you think? I'm a competitor."

However, the conversation turned very personal and heartfelt as Saban explained what age and experience had taught him.

"I really do think that maybe the only thing that's changed about me is, winning the game is not enough.  It really is not enough.  Doing it the right way, sort of trying to set the right example for your players and having people in the organization that are all trying to help and support those players to have an opportunity to be more successful in life, which also includes serving other people, which I think is one of the big things that this team did.

"I'm probably just as proud of our team winning the Disney Spirit Award for their contribution to our community which suffered in the tragedy of the tornado this past year as anything else that they accomplished."

Saban said he believes the lessons of giving and helping others not only help a football player grow, but also help people grow.

"I think those are important things that serve you well in life, doing it the right way and seeing guys do the right things."

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