Saban Speaks to Hundreds in Mtgy.; Says Coaches Must Set a Good Example


By Jessica Gertler

From Montgomery -- Hundreds of high school principals and athletic directors from across the state turn out to hear from University of Alabama football Coach Nick Saban. His proven record of championship success has many wondering how to build the total program, and today, Saban let them in on his secrets.

In front of a full house, Saban gave his words of advice to more than 600 athletic directors and principals.

"I thought this was a valuable opportunity to come and share ideas with a group that has a tremendous impact on our state," he says.

Saban spoke about effective leadership and how he built his program during a two-day Alabama High School Athletic Association conference in downtown Montgomery.

Saban says it's important they inspire and build trust with their students and players, and that criticism should always be professional and never become personal.

"We all have a responsibility and obligation to try to set a good example for young people and their development," he says. "Obviously, if you're a principal, athletic director, coach, we all try to teach and inspire learning."

Those in the audience say it was an honor to hear from a man of vision.

"Very inspiring from a very inspired coach," says Sparkman High School Athletic Director Maurice Jones.

"I think he's able to transcend sports and relate that to education and what you need to do to be successful and have successful schools," says Tallassee High School Principal Matt Coker.

But before Saban headed back to his team in Tuscaloosa, we had to ask if this year's team has what it takes to give Alabama a three-peat BCS National Championship.

"Well I don't like to make comparisons. You reinvent your team every year in terms of the intangibles, the leadership, the opportunities," he says. "To come through and develop them, I have a significant role in the team. That's a work in progress and we are trying to get 'er done."

As soon as today's event was over, Saban immediately went back Tuscaloosa. He didn't want to miss any of today's practice. Spring Practice for the Tide started on Monday.

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