147+ Best Nick Saban Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Nicholas Lou Saban Jr. is an American football coach who has been the head football coach at the University of Alabama since 2007. Profoundly inspirational Nick Saban quotes will challenge the way you think, and make your life worth living.

Famous Nick Saban Quotes

What makes Freddy Krueger such a horrible character? What makes him scare you to death? You can’t get rid of the guy. He never goes away. – Nick Saban

Mediocre people don’t like high achievers, and high achievers don’t like mediocre people. – Nick Saban

Success doesn’t come from pie-in-the-sky thinking. It’s the result of consciously doing something each day that will add to your overall excellence. – Nick Saban

There are two pains in life. There is the pain of discipline and the pain of disappointment. If you can handle the pain of discipline, then you’ll never have to deal with the pain of disappointment. – Nick Saban

There is no continuum for success. Focus on the progress, not the results. – Nick Saban

The more one emphasizes winning, the less he or she is able to concentrate on what actually causes success. – Nick Saban

I think everybody makes mistakes. People do things that they regret. – Nick Saban

It’s about how the players play and compete. I know everybody is going to equate that on winning or losing, like they always do, but if we play hard and compete well in the game .. then I think we are building on something. – Nick Saban

I don’t control what people put on dot-com or anything else. So I’m just telling you there’s no significance, in my opinion, about this, about me, about any interest that I have in anything other than being the coach here. – Nick Saban

The thing that concerns me the most is when I hear that people are making a lot of money a lot of ways except for the athletes, whether it’s on the bowl games, the TV contracts, the conferences, the schools, the coaches, however you want to say it. – Nick Saban

Our goal is to work against things we have not seen that we will see in the near future. – Nick Saban

I’ve always been able to stay focused on trying to recruit good players and trying to develop those players. – Nick Saban

I’m not going to be the Alabama coach. – Nick Saban

The difference nowadays is that when I go on vacation I work some of the time rather than all of the time. – Nick Saban

I think I’m pretty misunderstood, because I’m not just about football. – Nick Saban

I don’t think I’m complicated at all. I’m not political, and I’m not trying to be diplomatic. I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, and I don’t say bad things about people. There is no agenda. There’s no trying to fool somebody. – Nick Saban

Soccer is a continuous game, rugby is a continuous game, but for the physical elements that are involved in playing a football game and the number of plays that you play, I don’t know that it was ever intended to be a continuous game. – Nick Saban

College football is the only game in the country, of any kind, that the college game is longer than the pro game. – Nick Saban

Every choice, every decision, everything we do everyday, we want to be a champion – Nick Saban

A good process produces good results. – Nick Saban

Discipline is not punishment. Discipline is changing someone’s behavior. – Nick Saban

You can’t get from A to Z by passing up B. – Nick Saban

If you don’t get result-oriented with the kids, you can focus on the things in the process that are important to them being successful. – Nick Saban

When you invest your time, you make a goal and a decision of something that you want to accomplish. Whether it’s make good grades in school, be a good athlete, be a good person, go down and do some community service and help somebody who’s in need, whatever it is you choose to do, you’re investing your time in that. – Nick Saban

The number one thing on any team that will keep your players from being selfish is respect for the other players. – Nick Saban

Now, everybody always says there’s no ‘I’ in team, but there is an ‘I’ in win, because the individuals make the team what it is, and how they think and what they do is important to the team. So when you act like the individual is not important, well, it is damn important who these people are and what they are. – Nick Saban

We have to compete within ourselves relative to the determination it takes to be successful. – Nick Saban

It doesn’t matter what you are ranked until the end. – Nick Saban

To be a great player, you have to affect the entire unit. – Nick Saban

Teaching is the ability to inspire learning. – Nick Saban

Do what you do and be who you are. – Nick Saban

I don’t think it’s about who you play, I think it’s about who you are. – Nick Saban

When you play against good people, that’s when you focus your concentration. Your sense of urgency to be disciplined in your execution all become more critical. Sometimes you get away with doing things not quite right against lesser competition, but when you play against real good people that’s when it shows up. – Nick Saban

In the NFL you get one first-round draft pick if you’re lucky. You couldn’t really outwork anybody else. In college I could recruit ten players with first-round talent every year. – Nick Saban

Any team that does not win it’s conference championship game should not play in the BCS title game – Nick Saban

The roster that we have today may change tomorrow. It is what it is for right now. – Nick Saban

I’ve never considered joining Twitter, nor do I know why anybody would. – Nick Saban

I don’t like to lose. I don’t expect to lose. – Nick Saban

Focus on the play like it has a history and a life of its own. – Nick Saban

It’s not human nature to be great. It’s human nature to survive, to be average and do what you have to do to get by. That is normal. When you have something good happen, it’s the special people that can stay focused and keep paying attention to detail, working to get better and not being satisfied with what they have accomplished. – Nick Saban

The process is really what you have to do day in and day out to be successful, we try to define the standard that we want everybody to sort of work toward, adhere to, and do it on a consistent basis. And the things that I talked about before, being responsible for your own self-determination, having a positive attitude, having great work ethic, having discipline to be able to execute on a consistent basis, whatever it is you’re trying to do, those are the things that we try to focus on, and we don’t try to focus as much on the outcomes as we do on being all that you can be. – Nick Saban

Becoming a champion is not an easy process… It is done by focusing on what it takes to get there and not on getting there. – Nick Saban

We create a standard for how we want to do things and everybody’s got to buy into that standard or you really can’t have any team chemistry. Mediocre people don’t like high-achievers and high-achievers don’t like mediocre people. – Nick Saban

What happened yesterday is history. What happens tomorrow is a mystery. What we do today makes a difference – the precious present moment. – Nick Saban

We’re not going to talk about what we’re going to accomplish, we’re going to talk about how we’re going to do it. – Nick Saban

I think everybody should take the attitude that we’re working to be a champion, that we want to be a champion in everything that we do. Every choice, every decision, everything that we do every day, we want to be a champion. – Nick Saban

One thing about championship teams is that they’re resilient. No matter what is thrown at them, no matter how deep the hole, they find a way to bounce back and overcome adversity. – Nick Saban

Live by the creed that a strong work ethic, playing by the rules, and doing things the right way will bring about opportunities for success and, ultimately, happiness. – Nick Saban

We have three kinds of guys on our team. We have guys that get it; they play good; they understand how to play winning football. We have some guys that are trying to get it, and they are working hard every day? We are supporting them, and we want the guys that have it to support them. Then we have some guys that don’t get it and don’t know that they don’t get it. We are trying to replace them. We only have a couple left. – Nick Saban

I don’t care what you did yesterday. If you’re happy with that, you have bigger problems. – Nick Saban

Your character is your accumulation of your thoughts, habits and priorities on a day-to-day basis. – Nick Saban

You can’t win together if you don’t work together. – Nick Saban

We have got to use every opportunity to improve individually so we can improve collectively. – Nick Saban

Anyone who doesn’t win their conference has no business playing in the national championship game. – Nick Saban

Eliminate the clutter and all the things that are going on outside and focus on the things that you can control with how you sort of go about and take care of your business. That’s something that’s ongoing, and it can never change. – Nick Saban

People who are role models for the principles and values of the organization, who buy in and understand the vision of what the organization is trying to accomplish, and have the personality to inspire other people to the vision. You know, that’s what team chemistry and leadership is all about. – Nick Saban

Be all you can be in whatever you choose to do. The sky is the limit, so go for it. And do not create any self-imposed limitations. – Nick Saban

The formula for success is every guy can make a difference for the entire team in whatever his role is. And to do it right, to get it right, is a critical factor in being successful. – Nick Saban

I’m tired of hearing all this talk from people who don’t understand the process of hard work-like little kids in the back seat asking ‘Are we there yet?’ Get where you’re going 1 mile-marker at a time. – Nick Saban

Be on time because it shows you care. – Nick Saban

I don’t know that there’s any particular scientific evidence that you could say, more guys get hurt in this offense versus that one, or hurry-up, or whatever, but everything that we’ve ever done in the NCAA is about exposure. How many exposures does a player get? – Nick Saban

We are pleased with the team chemistry we have right now, and we are pleased with what the players are doing. My comment is going to be about that. It is not on any speculation about what is going to happen in the future. – Nick Saban

We’ve been able to move the ball a little bit better, – Nick Saban

We’re modern-day gladiators, and that mental toughness is really important to have (in) a good team. It’s got to permeate your team, and there has to be a core group of guys that buy in and believe in that. – Nick Saban

We respect that, as long as it’s taking into account the balance of how it’s affecting the player. – Nick Saban

When we do decide, we won’t be telling you, so you can keep asking. I’ll call up (Panthers coach) John Fox. When I call up John Fox and tell him what we are going to do, then I’ll let you guys know. Is that all right? – Nick Saban

When we get weather that’s disruptive, which we’ve had now two years in a row, I think that’s benefit number one. – Nick Saban

What happens to everybody else has nothing to do with us, understand? – Nick Saban

We felt like he should start in the game. I know he had his penalty or two, but we’ll continue to evaluate that and we feel like we have three guys who can play tackle. – Nick Saban

We felt like he did a good job in going in and playing significantly in the last game when Jason got hurt. There is nobody disappointed in his performance. That’s where you have to be careful about stats. How many opportunities did he have that he didn’t make? That would be a better assessment of what he has or hasn’t done. – Nick Saban

We believe we are a better team today than we were yesterday. – Nick Saban

We’re going to look at this as a two-starter position. – Nick Saban

We’re fortunate to be able to add someone with Mike’s knowledge and experience to our staff. (With the Bills), he instilled in his players a sense of belief in his system and those leadership skills will serve him well in his new role. – Nick Saban

We’re not allowed to be frustrated around here. But we’re very frustrated. – Nick Saban

Would we rather have been in a situation where we didn’t have to call timeout by having the best block team that we could on the field? Absolutely, but that wasn’t the case, … I felt that it was an important enough situation in the game, because our guys do a pretty good job inside of getting penetration, to get the right guys in there to do the best job of trying to get the kick blocked. – Nick Saban

Would we have rather have been in a situation where we didn’t have to call timeout? Absolutely, … But I felt it was an important enough situation in the game. – Nick Saban

Would it be better long-term for him so that he can get better and just not be an every week thing for the next however many more weeks if he doesn’t have an opportunity to get some rest and get it a little better than what it is right now? – Nick Saban

We’re still in the information-gathering stage. People like to ask strategic questions about what we’re going to do. – Nick Saban

We’re still competing at that position, but Gus has taken most of the reps. That’s the way it is right now. – Nick Saban

We’ve tried to make a plan on how we would operate if we do have an agreement, how it would that impact our ability to make improvements to the team. All we can do is manage the situation the best we can. – Nick Saban

We have to get the kind of execution at quarterback that will give it to them. – Nick Saban

We have no intention of moving or trading Jason Taylor . – Nick Saban

We want to support every player, and I think every player knows he has a responsibility for what to do and what not to do. As a coach, I also feel a responsibility to put a player in the best situation possible so he can have success. – Nick Saban

We want to see guys compete so we can know whether they need to be here, we want them to be here and if they are the kind of people we want. The record doesn’t really matter, the result doesn’t matter and the score in the game doesn’t really matter. – Nick Saban

There are no comparisons that need to be made. Both guys are outstanding players. – Nick Saban

We thought we could bat a lot of balls on him, and have some players who are athletes, … When you’re pressuring, getting as close to the quarterback as you are, that’s got to be an advantage for you. You can’t just cover on the back end. – Nick Saban

There is no doubt that quarterback is a critical position in every organization. That really has to be something that we look at to make a good assessment on how we move ahead at that position. We like all of the quarterbacks that we have here, but if we get an opportunity to improve the quality at that position, we most certainly will. – Nick Saban

We have a sense of urgency about trying to get him ready, but we’re not going to rush him and put him in a position where it’s not going to be something he can have success at. – Nick Saban

When I call up (Carolina coach) John Fox and tell him what we are going to do, then I’ll let you guys know, – Nick Saban

We need to make sure we have an adequate backup at that position. We’re trying to work through that right now, either with the players we have on our team or some who are available in free agency. – Nick Saban

There are times when we are getting an outstanding performance from the running back. There are times when we are getting a hat on a hat to finish a block. We just have to do it more consistently. … It’s just a matter of execution on a more consistent basis from the entire unit. – Nick Saban

There are lots of players who have had this injury. There are lots of players who come back and play from this injury, and they actually come back to full mobility and full speed. – Nick Saban

Last year was a mountain climb — we were fortunate to be able to plant the flag at the top of the mountain and win the national championship, … This year, we have won zero games. We are at base camp at the bottom of the mountain looking up at the climb. And it will be very difficult. – Nick Saban

Olindo has had a fantastic camp. He has made a much higher percentage of his kicks than what our standard would be. – Nick Saban

Maybe we can create some problems and issues for teams by doing that. – Nick Saban

My last conversation was awhile back and was really about our heritage, trying to figure out where we came from and what we did, – Nick Saban

My focus is on trying to get our players in the best position we can to have an opportunity to be successful. The other stuff is pretty minor. – Nick Saban

Nobody ever said this team wasn’t tough. Look at that, it took two teams to eliminate us from the playoffs. – Nick Saban

Maybe this guy (Denney) won’t mess up twice in a year after he’s done it in 10 years, … But if we were to cut this guy, he would have gotten claimed. And if you watch him snap you would feel the same way. We’re not going to second-guess anything that we did. – Nick Saban

Nobody wishes that anybody has to go through what one of our colleagues is having to go through right now relative to his loss in this holiday season. – Nick Saban

Nobody has a crystal ball. Nobody can make a prediction. But based on history, the guy is making good progress to come back. … And as you see his progress being made, it doesn’t become a leap of faith to determine whether the guy can come back. – Nick Saban

Ricky did a fantastic job for us this year. If someone said, ‘Who have you enjoyed coaching the most in all my years of football,’ he’d be one of the top guys I’ve ever been around. – Nick Saban

Richard is an outstanding coach who has been in the NFL for 17 years. I coached with him in Houston and have always thought he was one of the best coaches I’ve had the chance to work with. – Nick Saban

Philosophically, I don’t there’s a lot of difference in terms of what we like to do. His knowledge of the league and being able to define things internally in the organization, so you have everybody on the same page, are probably his greatest assets. That and recognition of what people can do – the strength of players, coaches and people in the organization – and putting them in position where they can have success doing it. – Nick Saban

Nobody in this room, with all of our power and might put together, can have anything to do with where it goes. What we can try to do is have something to do with preparing for the game and doing our job well and having pride in the performance of what we have to do. – Nick Saban

One of the most difficult parts of my job is having to release players, and the past week has emphasized this fact. This is especially true when those players made significant contributions to the success of the team in the past. Ideally, we would like to keep many of those players on our roster, but we are simply not able to do that. – Nick Saban

I wish there was some big, like, deal about what happened today, … But Ricky’s been coming here. He’s been going to meetings every day. He’s been allowed to work out every day. He just has not practiced with the team. – Nick Saban

I would have liked to determine it a month ago or two weeks ago. I would like to determine it. I don’t have a problem with determining it. We are trying to determine it. But we don’t want to upset the apple cart of what we are trying to accomplish with the development of both of these players by trying to determine something that is not ready to be determined. – Nick Saban

I would be a little disappointed for our players (if a blackout occurs). These guys have worked hard, and we have done a lot to try to make the team better. – Nick Saban

I was pleased with the way Sage played, – Nick Saban

If we don’t have an agreement this year, obviously it’s going to affect the cap in an adverse way in terms of what’s available to spend on players. – Nick Saban

If we’re going to do that, we should have had a press conference for the other three guys we signed, too. So how do we choose who has a press conference and who doesn’t? – Nick Saban

If we just didn’t do that kind of stuff, we wouldn’t have to worry about it. – Nick Saban

If we can get it worked out, maybe he will have the opportunity to play. If he can’t, we will have his services later. – Nick Saban

I don’t know. He doesn’t know. Nobody knows. – Nick Saban

I don’t feel like we have enough depth. Lance has certainly made a lot of improvement. He is a veteran player that’s starting to feel more comfortable in the system. He did make a couple of good plays in this game. – Nick Saban

I don’t know that tradition has ever won or lost a game. As far as I can tell, the field they have up there is 53 yards wide and 100 yards deep. They’ll play 11. We’ll play 11. The game will be decided on who does the best job of blocking and tackling and dominating the guys they play against. – Nick Saban

I don’t know, you should ask Sam that. I can’t answer that. I don’t think that we are doing anything differently than anybody else does, though. – Nick Saban

I don’t care if you are a coach or player, you have family and personal issues and those things that are of concern. Everybody’s safety is of concern. I have a great appreciation for the players and what they were able to do today to stay focused on the things that we wanted to try to get accomplished. – Nick Saban

Ideally, we would like to keep many of those players on our roster, but we are simply not able to do that. – Nick Saban

I am so happy for Ricky. He has played a great role for this team all year. He has been unselfish and has been a really good team guy. – Nick Saban

I am surprised that I keep getting asked the same questions that I have been asked for the last six months and I keep answering them the same way, – Nick Saban

But what happened in their first game is no indication of the kind of team that they have. – Nick Saban

I felt like Ricky Williams played well. He didn’t have many opportunities to do much, because he didn’t have much space. – Nick Saban

I can’t sit here and say that our players aren’t as good as their players. I feel terribly that we didn’t get the result that we wanted. – Nick Saban

From an intangible standpoint, it’s about things like effort, mental toughness, the ability to stay focused and execute, and be a little relentless in the way you try to go about your work, … We’re gladiators out there. We’re modern-day gladiators and that mental toughness has got to permeate your team. – Nick Saban

I don’t think anybody goes out there not knowing what to do, … I don’t think anybody doesn’t know they didn’t do it right after it happens. I just think that you are talking about a lot of different multiples and adjustments that have to occur. They happen quickly in the game and I think the more repetition you get on things like that, the more confidence the players gain in their ability to adjust. – Nick Saban

I don’t think he’s ready to carry it 45 times. We’re going to have to keep playing him into it, but hopefully we can get him in that 12- to 15-touch mode. – Nick Saban

If a player isn’t performing relative to the so-called investment that you have in him, sometimes you have to make tough decisions. We were committed to the guy. He was committed. If anything, I feel personally responsible that we didn’t make it work with the guy. – Nick Saban

I don’t think we’re considering a lot of changes. – Nick Saban

I don’t think we played very well. We didn’t look quick, we didn’t look fast and we didn’t play with the same energy level that I’ve seen us play with throughout the year so far. I’m not blaming it on anything because that’s not my nature, but we certainly didn’t have the energy and the enthusiasm that we’ve played with to this point. – Nick Saban

I don’t think we’re where we need to be. I don’t think we’re where we can be. – Nick Saban

I don’t think you want me to say what I think about that, – Nick Saban

I don’t think it’s just that position (quarterback), – Nick Saban

If Williams were committed to coming back and being a productive player, … … well, I’ve discussed this with some of the leaders of the team, and I think he’d be welcome. – Nick Saban

If that is what it takes and gives us the best opportunity to win, the best opportunity to be successful and play winning football on offense, it’s not something we wouldn’t consider doing, – Nick Saban

He was the number one guy last year and I think he did pretty well. He didn’t do anything to make us think that he couldn’t do it. – Nick Saban

He has been one of our most productive players. – Nick Saban

He has continued to do a good job every time he’s been out there, … and I think that’s something that’s got to be taken into consideration. – Nick Saban

He did a fantastic job, especially at the end of the game. That’s the toughest it ever gets. They’re trying to take the air out of him. They’re putting them all out there to stop you. He broke two runs that were as big as any in the game. – Nick Saban

He did well, actually better than I thought he would. We did not want him to go the whole practice because we didn’t want him to get in an overuse situation where he might fatigue that particular injury and have additional problems. – Nick Saban

He did some straight-line running (Monday). He threw the ball some. He took some easy drops. So it’s not like this guy is not at a point where he can’t start doing some things. Now, I didn’t see all that. I’m just going on what the trainer and the people doing the rehab with him did. But he was there early and stayed late and worked hard. We were pleased with what he did. – Nick Saban

He is not badly hurt. He told me today that if it were the regular season, he would play in this game, but we are obviously not going to take any chances. – Nick Saban

He is a bright guy. He has a pretty good understanding of what we’re doing. It’s just going to take some time to get him into football shape. – Nick Saban

He had a lot of tough yards out there. – Nick Saban

He got picked before we could get him. Somebody else obviously tutored him up. – Nick Saban

He gives us a dimension out there that nobody else does in terms of his physical presence and toughness. We’re happy to have it. – Nick Saban

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