Why Nick Saban is Already a Legend, and Why He Won't Go Pro

Derek SmithCorrespondent IFebruary 26, 2010

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 07:  Head coach Nick Saban and running back Mark Ingram #22 of the Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate with the BCS Championship trophy after winning the Citi BCS National Championship game over the Texas Longhorns at the Rose Bowl on January 7, 2010 in Pasadena, California. The Crimson Tide defeated the Longhorns 37-21.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Early in his coaching career, Nick Saban began to make impressions.  Impressions that have defined him as one of the most prestigious coaches in NCAA football. 

Sticking with NCAA head coaching jobs:

1990: Pushes Toledo to a 9-2 season as a first year head coach.

1995-1999: Restores hope to Michigan State by amassing a 34-24-1 record.

2000-2004: Posts an outstanding 48-16 record at LSU, with a BCS National Championship in just his third year.

2007-2009: Wins another BCS title after just three seasons with Alabama, with an impressive 124-50-1 record as a head coach.

Nick Saban has accomplished in a short time, what most coaches hope to accomplish in a lifetime.  He has restored prominence to the Crimson Tide, and proved that he can win in almost any Division-I conference.  To further solidify his greatness, the University of Alabama has erected a statue of Coach Saban, adjacent to the statue of another Tide Legend, coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

So will all of Saban's success bring another shot at the Pros?  I think not.  Here's why: Before  we start talking about Nick Saban jumping into the Bigs again, we need to remember that his record as an NFL head coach is 15-17.  Fifteen wins in two seasons is nothing to be proud of, and will not suffice in the NFL.  If he had not left the Miami Dolphins, he would have most likely been fired the following season.

When Nick was asked about the possibility of returning to the NFL in 2009, he told reporters "College football is where I belong."  Just a few weeks later he signed a contract extension with Alabama that would take him through the 2017 season.  Afterward he said "I believe this shows Teri (Saban's wife) and I are committed to the University of Alabama for the remainder of our coaching career."

Eight more years is a long time in just about any sport, and I am not sure if Coach Saban will hang in there that long; but I think he has realized that certain people are good at certain things, and the pros are simply not for him.

Signing Off and Roll Tide,

Derek Smith