It’s difficult to imagine Nick Saban as the head coach of anyone but Alabama at this point. The legendary college football coach has been with the Crimson Tide since 2007, winning five national championships along the way.
Saban was reportedly interested in leaving Alabama for another job following the Crimson Tide’s 2012 national title season, however.
Texas megabooster Tom Hicks said on the Your Turn with Corby Davidson podcast that Saban had reached out to the Longhorns through agent Jimmy Sexton following the 2012 season. He wanted to know what Texas’ post-Mack Brown plans were and apparently had interest in the job.
“Another regent and I had the conversation with Saban’s agent and he said, ‘If Saban was a business guy, he’d be what you would call a turnaround artist. He’s not a longterm CEO. Fix it, win and go on. He knows he will never catch Bear Bryant’s legacy in Alabama, but he’d like to create his legacy that he’s won national championships at more schools than anybody else. He’s done it at LSU and Alabama, and he knows he can win a national championship at Alabama; he knows he can,’” Hicks said.
Brown was apparently approached by Texas boosters at the time about a potential transition to Saban. He didn’t take it well.
“We had lunch and I thought at the time he was ready to leave,” Hicks said. “He’d been telling people he was ready to leave. So I said, ‘Mack, I want to tell you about a conversation I had with Jimmy Sexton. If you want to retire, I think you can graciously have Nick Saban come in and take your place and have it be your idea. That might be a nice way for you to end it.’
“Mack Brown turned bright red. Steam started coming out of his ears, and he said, ‘That guy is not coming here to win a national championship with my players.’ I said, ‘Mack, I’m glad to see you have that passion. I didn’t think you had that passion left.”
Brown ended up leaving Texas after the 2013 season. He’s since returned to coaching, taking the North Carolina job this season.
Saban, meanwhile, has won two national championships since and has the Crimson Tide reaching for another one heading into 2019.