Alabama Football: Auto business and the Tide, Julio opens dealership

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Soon Alabama football legends Nick Saban and Julio Jones will both be in the car dealership business. Jones will open Kia and Mazda dealerships in Tuscaloosa.

Atlanta Falcons and former Alabama football star, Julio Jones is following Nick Saban by going into the automobile business. According to, The dealerships will be on Greensboro Avenue in Tuscaloosa.

"Jones has partnered with a team that will oversee the dealership while he continues his football career in Atlanta, the announcement states. Day-to-day operations will be handled by Carriage Automotive Group in Gainesville, Georgia."

It is not known if Nick Saban advised his former player to invest in a car dealership. Nick wanted to be in the car business from a young age and preferred that career direction over coaching football.

Nick Sr. owned a ‘service station’ in West Virginia and Nick Saban began working there when he was 11 years-old. Nick remembered his affinity for cars in this story from Automotive News.

"A Pontiac GTO showed up to the station one day, and I thought to myself, ‘Wow, that’s the best thing in the world,’"

Coaching interrupted Saban’s car business dreams for decades until 2013. Saban got to know the Mercedes-USA CEO, Steve Cannon, simply because of the automaker’s plant on the outskirts of Tuscaloosa. Nick also knew Louisiana car dealer, Joe Agresti from his stint as the LSU head coach. Saban was interested in a New Mercedes dealership in Birmingham and Cannon encouraged Nick to talk to Agresti. The two became partners.

The Saban-Agresti group now owns Mercedes dealerships in Birmingham and Nashville. They also own an Infiniti dealership in Birmingham. According to Automotive News, the two Birmingham dealerships sell over six thousand vehicles a year.

Speaking of similarities between being a successful football coach and a successful automobile dealer, Nick said,

"I think to be successful, it takes the same energy no matter what you’re trying to do. You’ve got to have a vision and a goal, passion to the thing required to accomplish the goal, or process, and the discipline to execute that every day. That’s in football, business, anything."

Terry Saban is also a partner in the auto business. Nick and Terry’s son Nicholas also works in the family business. Nick Saban and Julio Jones are not the first Crimson Tide connections to the automobile business. Former Alabama football player and Green Bay Packer legend, Bart Starr was in the car business for many years in Birmingham.

Speaking of Starr, as a young NFL player, a Green Bay car dealer gave Bart a Ford Falcon. Unlike Nick’s ‘GTO’ experience, the Falcon likely had no impact on Starr’s later career in the auto business. About the only similarity between the ‘GTO’ and the ‘Falcon’ is they both had four wheels.

Next: 50 Best Alabama Football Players of All-Time

Neither Nick Saban or Julio Jones will have much time for the car business during football season. Even when the gridiron keeps them occupied their names and reputations will enhance their auto dealerships.