On Monday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said he is "at peace" at Alabama, and Tuscaloosa is where he belongs. He said he has no plans on going to the NFL.
"I kind of learned through that experience that maybe this is where I belong, and I'm really happy and at peace with all that," Saban said. "So no matter how many times I say that, y'all don't believe it, so I don't even know why I keep talking about it."
Last night, after Saban won his fourth national championship and Alabama's third championship in four years, he became a permanent part of college football's head coaching pantheon.
He exhaled, and visible seemed at peace and more relaxed (or less intense) than normal. But then the chatter immediately began about whether Saban should go out on top and test his coaching skills once again in the NFL.
Saban said he could not impact the lives of players at the professional level as he could at the collegiate level. He noted that at the professional level, he could not always get the players he wanted through the draft and free agency. Saban, a master recruiter, has an easier time getting the talent he wants at the college level.
Saban said he has put discussions about whether he will ever coach in the NFL to rest in part because he has learned from "the experiences of what you've done in the past."
"I didn't feel like I could impact the team the same way that I can as a college coach in terms of affecting people's lives personally, helping them develop careers by graduating from school, off the field, by helping develop them as football players, and there's a lot of self-gratification in all that," Saban said.
Saban's wife Terry, whom he has been with since high school, has recently said and always insisted that the Alabama job would be Saban's last. Saban said of his wife:
Well, let me say this: I met Ms. Terry when she was in seventh grade at science camp and I was in eighth grade, and we were from different schools. And she did not know what a 1st down was when we first started dating, and there's no doubt in my mind that she thinks she ought to be the head coach at Alabama right now. No doubt. And she is a hell of an assistant, even though she thinks she's the head coach, which when she's around, I always make her think that.