Nick Saban has been reasonably successful in his 10 seasons coaching Alabama, where he’s more or less the king of the college football universe. But that hasn’t stopped his name from coming up for other jobs before, and now that’s happening again.
Wrestling promoter Bob Arum has a friend at CAA, the agency that represents Saban. Arum told NorthJersey.com’s Keith Idec that Arum’s agent friend, Nick Khan, had a Saban-agent colleague at CAA. According to Arum, Khan asked him to put Saban’s representation in touch with the Giants while they searched for Tom Coughlin’s replacement last winter.
“I get a call from Nick Khan, who’s an agent at CAA, and is a good friend of mine. He says, ‘Bob, I know you’re a good friend of [Giants owner] Steve Tisch. I have a colleague here at CAA,’ and I forget the guy’s name, ‘who represents Nick Saban. And Saban would be very interested in the Giants job.’
“This was before they hired McAdoo, but after they announced Coughlin was leaving. So I call Steve and I say, ‘Hey, Saban would be very interested. I got this call.’ Then I tell him the whole story, and that Saban would be interested in the job, what a great coach he is, etcetera, etcetera. The [Post] story said Saban wanted $10 million. I don’t remember it being $10 million. But it was a big, big contract.”
Saban currently makes about $7 million at Alabama.
It didn’t materialize, obviously. The Giants hired Ben McAdoo. Saban stayed at Alabama, where his team is 8-0 and tracking toward another College Football Playoff berth.
But, in Arum’s telling, the Giants got pretty serious until running into a roadblock:
“So I called Nick [Khan], who relayed it to his colleague at CAA. They came back and said, ‘Nick is delighted. Now he’s talking to his wife.’ They went so far as to contact real estate agents in New Jersey, for homes in New Jersey. Then Nick [Khan] called back the next day and said, ‘Call Steve. Tell him Nick can’t do it. His wife loves Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She doesn’t want to move, so Nick can’t take the job.’ ”
Terry Saban’s love of Tuscaloosa has been a frequent storyline in Saban rumors over the years.
Saban being connected to jobs is not a new phenomenon.
Rumors previously swirled for years about Saban’s interest in leaving Tuscaloosa for the head coaching job at Texas.
Saban’s agent reportedly told a Texas regent in 2013 that Saban would consider taking the Longhorns job. Saban got a raise later that year, which Alabama denied had anything to do with the Texas rumors. Then Saban got another big raise in 2014.
The coach hasn’t spent his career in one place, even though it feels more and more like that with every passing year. Saban’s done a couple of stints as an NFL assistant, and he coached the Dolphins in 2005 and 2006, between his time running LSU and then Alabama. The Giants gig that didn’t come about wouldn’t have been his first rodeo.