First things first: You should read this entire Nick Saban profile from GQ by Warren St. John. It's remarkably good and worth your time.
If your appetite must be whetted, however, consider this anecdote that opens the article. One of Saban's local golf buddies, Steven Rumsey, called him to congratulate him after last January's stomping of LSU in the BCS National Championship. We'll let the story take it from there:
But given that his golf buddy had just won the national championship, Rumsey figured he ought to say a few words of congratulations. So he did, telling Saban his team had pulled off an impressive win.
"That damn game cost me a week of recruiting," Saban grumbled into the phone.
Rumsey pointed out that Saban and his team had just been on national television before millions of people -- including, most likely, every high school recruit in the country-and reminded Saban that they had won the national championship.
"I said, 'I'm not sure, but I think that helped you,'" Rumsey recalled. "And he said, 'I just don't know. Maybe. Maybe that was good.'"
It's worth noting that whatever ground Saban thinks he lost in that week of media gladhanding (and the two whole days off he took afterwards), he has more than made up over the course of the offseason; per the 247Sports.com composite rankings, Alabama's 2014 recruiting class is ranked the best in the nation -- by a comfortable margin.
Oh, and he was grousing about the recruiting aspect after the next year's national championship game, too:
"We're behind in recruiting," Saban said just now on SportsCenter. Behind who? The Patriots?— SB Nation Recruiting (@SBNRecruiting) January 8, 2013
That's not to say that Saban is now a fan of the public appearances and other "external factors" that keep him away from the business of coaching and recruiting, mind you. SB Nation's Steven Godfrey was at a Saban appearance this June in Athens, Tenn., a medium-sized town on the east side of the state (think halfway between Chattanooga and Knoxville on I-75). Understandably, Tennessee fans were less than thrilled to have Saban (and a billboard announcing his presence) there in rival territory, and the threats began to pour in.
Well, Saban found out about those threats, as you'd expect. Once again, from the GQ profile:
"One speech closer to vacation," Saban says in the car. "They're threatening to kill me. If they want to assassinate my ass, they need to go ahead and do it."
Nick Saban, y'all.