Does this count as a smile? (Photo courtesy of Kent State media relations)
This picture came from either Nick Saban’s junior or senior year at Kent State (1971 or ’72) when he was a starting defensive back.
Update: Here’s another picture of him from his sophomore season in 1970.
(Courtesy Kent State media relations)
That was partially the topic of the story I wrote for print today.
TUSCALOOSA — Nick Saban admits his long-term memory isn’t what it once was.
The details are growing fuzzy for the Alabama coach, but he can’t forget the impact made by the six years he spent in Kent, Ohio, in the early and mid-1970s. Without it, there’s no telling where he would be today.
This Saturday, his past meets his present. His alma mater and first employer Kent State visits Alabama to open his 39th season as a football coach.
Following his senior season as a Golden Flash defensive back, a young Saban faced life at the crossroads. Coaching football wasn’t even part of the plan, originally. But after receiving his diploma, he faced a dilemma.
Saban was already married to wife Terry Saban, and she had another year of school to complete at Kent State. He couldn’t move away and start a career somewhere else, though he said his first goal was to own a car dealership.
“I guess because my dad had a service station and I worked on cars from the time I was 11 years old, I always had this fetish for cars,” Saban said. “When you were pumping gas and you had to go out and wait on a car when a guy came in with a brand new GTO, that was a big deal.
“It was almost like scoring a touchdown that you could check the oil on a brand new GTO or whatever the hot car was at that time.”
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