Life without football is an odd reality for college football coaches to deal with. They appear to eat, sleep and breathe football. Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is no exception.
His many national championships make him a legend throughout the college football world. The football field is his natural habitat. However, he has learned to adjust to life at home and make the most of a difficult situation.
Preparing for football season
Because college football suspended spring practices, the Alabama football team meets virtually. Players learn concepts over Zoom calls with their coaches.
“There’s been some tremendous teaching going on,” Saban said.
There is more time for players to learn these concepts during virtual meetings than there would be under normal spring practice conditions. Therefore, Saban sees a real benefit in this off-field teaching method.
However, the negative consequences of not having true spring practice still exist. Saban believes that younger players are the most affected by the lack of spring practice.
Saban finds time for family
One particular benefit of having to stay home is being stuck with family. College football coaches typically spend a lot of their time with their team and away from family.
“This is not a family-friendly profession that we’re in,” Saban said. “So this has been an opportunity to spend some quality time with your children, your grandchildren, your wife. We probably do more things together and talk more now than we did before, and I think those are all really, really good things.”
Saban is especially grateful for the time he gets to spend with his wife, Terry.
“I think what is essential gets distorted a little bit for us all because we get so involved in our job,” Saban said. “As you get older, you start having a greater amount of respect and appreciation and gratitude for the relationships that you’ve been able to have through the years, and Miss Terry’s certainly been one of the best ones I ever had.”