Alabama Football: Nick Saban’s impact on former assistants and other coaches

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

Alabama Football Head Coach, Nick Saban has set extraordinary individual records in his college football coaching career. The record of six Alabama Football National Championships Saban shares with Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant could certainly be broken by Saban before he retires.

The all-time record of seven National Champions could be broken by Saban but is unlikely to ever be matched by another FBS coach. The momentous achievements overshadow other Nick Saban accomplishments.

The Nick Saban coaching tree is broad and deep – and growing. Most fans are aware of it, but some may miss the fact that in the current college game, no current, college head coach has developed coaches as well as Nick Saban.

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Ten former Nick Saban, Alabama Football assistants are currently FBS head coaches. In the SEC, they are Kirby Smart, Jimbo Fisher and Lane Kiffin. The other seven are Steve Sarkisian (Texas), Mike Locksley (Maryland), Mel Tucker (Michigan State), Mario Cristobal (Oregon), Charles Huff (Marshall), Jim McElwain (Central Michigan) and Billy Napier at Louisiana.

In addition, former Nick Saban analysts or staffers are the Head Coaches at Georgia Tech (Geoff Collins) and Arkansas State (Butch Jones).  Another former Saban assistant, Curt Cignetti is currently the head coach for FCS, James Madison, his tenth FCS season as a head coach.

Seven more former Nick Saban assistants or analysts are currently either an Offensive or Defensive Coordinator at an FBS program. They are: Kyle Flood at Texas; Dan Enos at Maryland; Charlie Weiss Jr. at  South Florida; Josh Gattis at Michigan; Mike Stoops at Florida Atlantic; Craig Kuligowski at Toledo and Major Applewhite at South Alabama.

Many more names could be added to these lists of former Nick Saban guys if NFL coaches, current college position coaches and college analysts were included.

In total, Nick Saban’s development of coaches is unparalleled by the other 129 FBS head coaches.

Not in terms of development, but in terms of notoriety, Nick Saban has positively impacted the careers of eight other, current FBS head coaches. They are the eight guys who have beaten Saban in his combined 19 seasons at LSU and Alabama. A few other former head coaches put losses on Saban but are not current FBS head coaches.

The three current FBS head coaches who won against Saban at LSU are David Cutcliffe, Mack Brown and Kirk Ferentz. The five current FBS head coaches who have had career-enhancing wins over Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide are Gus Malzahn, Dabo Swinney, Hugh Freeze, Kyle Whittingham and Ed Orgeron.

Saban tried to warn other coaches. dark. Next

Working for Nick boosts careers, with often lasting rewards. Beating Nick Saban also gives coaches a major boost, but it is not always lasting.