clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

‘The Facebook guy’ Mark Zuckerberg hung out with Nick Saban and some Bama players

New, comments

It actually kinda makes sense if you think about it.

You know, just a regular Tuesday in Tuscaloosa when a multi billionaire tech visionary comes through to talk to the most successful coach in college football. That’s what happened when Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan rolled by to have a chat with Nick Saban and some of the Bama team. Zuckerberg posted this on his Facebook page Tuesday evening.

We stopped by the University of Alabama and sat down with Coach Saban. We talked about what it takes to build a world...

Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Afterword, Saban referred to Zuckerberg as “the Facebook guy” at a luncheon.

We can laugh at this, sure. But from a business sense there’s a lot to be gleaned from the way Saban manages his organization.

I know we don’t think about Saban as malleable, but he wasn’t always this process driven person. The openness to change what he was doing and adopt something totally new when he was already well into his career is a pretty big part of his success. Saban said he adopted the change to process driven thinking back in the late 1990s when his old school approach to the game wasn’t giving him the results he wanted.

Saban will tell you that the process is nothing without his players, and he’s certainly right. But replicating Saban’s eye for talent to staff his organization with players and coaches, etc. isn’t easy on the football field (ask any school who’s hired a former Bama assistant). The global approach to running the show, however, is.

College football coaches are CEOs whether they act like it or not. They manage and are ostensibly responsible for over 100 players, coaches and staffers on any given day. Saban is the best at what he does. Zuckerberg’s proven he’s at least one of the best in the tech domain launching a multibillion dollar company out of his dorm room with some friends. It makes sense that the two would meet swap ideas and chat.

Hopefully Zuckerberg can give Saban some tips on Facebooking his gameplan to players.