Since returning to college football, Nick Saban has led LSU's biggest rival to five national championships.
It turns out Saban wishes he could've been doing all that in Baton Rouge. The Alabama coach admitted his biggest professional regret was leaving LSU for the Miami Dolphins in an interview with Glenn Guilbeau of the Lafayette Daily Advertiser.
"As it turns out, what I learned from that experience in hindsight was, it was a huge mistake to leave college football," Saban said. "And I know a lot of LSU fans think I left for whatever reasons, but I left because I wanted to be a pro coach, or thought I wanted to be a pro coach. We loved LSU. We worked hard to build the program. If there was one thing professionally that I would do over again, it would've been not to leave LSU."
Saban coached at LSU from 2000 to 2004, winning the 2003 BCS National Championship. He left in 2005 to coach the Miami Dolphins, leading them to a 15-17 record in two seasons before resigning to take the Alabama job.
"I really wanted to be a college coach, but I had it in the back of my mind all the time that the ultimate thing that you could accomplish in the profession was to be a head coach in the NFL," Saban said. "Don't ask me why. But that was just kind of there. And I thought, probably because of Wayne Huizenga [the late Dolphins' owner] that was the right one. He was a pretty good recruiter."
Saban's return to college football has been the most successful run for a coach in history, as he's led the Tide to five championships and seven national championship games. One of Saban's titles came against the Les Miles-led LSU team in 2011.
Despite being a thorn in the side of LSU for more than a decade, Saban will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame next year. That sound you hear is most of LSU nation throwing their hands up in frustration.