Nick Saban on '60 Minutes': Takeaways from Alabama Football Coach on CBS

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIINovember 3, 2013

TUSCALOOSA, AL - OCTOBER 19:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during pregame warmups prior to facing the Arkansas Razorbacks at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban has won three national championships in four years while building college football's most dominant program.

Given that success and his meticulous pursuit of perfection, CBS' 60 Minutes deemed Saban's accolades and personality worthy of a TV special led by reporter Armen Keteyian.

On an evening where Alabama was revealed as the No. 1 team in the BCS rankings, Saban didn't disappoint.

The 62-year-old coach held little of his renowned fire back in the lengthy segment, which gave a behind-the-scenes look at how Saban carries himself, what his mindset is, how he was influenced as he progressed through the coaching ranks, and more.

One quote from Saban stood out in particular, and 60 Minutes' official Twitter account made sure to document it:

To kick off the story, the action followed Saban all but sprinting out to practice in August, bringing enthusiasm as the players had to move indoors due to a thunderstorm.

Cameras captured how he runs a tight ship, and before the first voice-over, he is screaming at a player for making the same mistake after being told three times before how to rectify it.

Defensive back Eddie Jackson also got several earfuls from Saban, but he's coming along well, and he grabbed his first career interception against Ole Miss earlier in the year.

At the foundation of Saban's success is what he calls "The Process," for which 60 Minutes provided a succinct explanation:

All of that practice tape provided a glimpse into the type of competitor Saban is and how he places a premium on a player's mentality and work ethic as much as his talent.

At one point in the special, Saban told Keteyian that if he feels strongly about a prospect, he will watch every play of that youngster's high school game tape.

That was evident in the footage the show aired when Saban wasn't at rest, seated for an on-camera interview. From the relentless environment fostered on the Tuscaloosa practice fields to shaking hands with far younger children, the intensity Saban exudes is palpable.

Also touched on in the segment was the impact Saban's father had on him when he was raised in a small West Virginia mining town.

Saban spent many evenings running up a steep hill that flanked the field—now named for his father, Nick Sr.—he played on as a Pop Warner player. The difficult climb up the swelling incline required a tough mindset and excellent conditioning.

When Saban had to wash cars with his father at the local service station he owned—where Saban started working at age 11—if it was not done perfectly, he would have to wash the entire car over again.

That is where Saban's attention to detail comes from.

Alabama president Robert E. Witt was also interviewed. He intimated that Saban is the best investment the school has ever made.

A 112 percent revenue increase in Alabama's athletics department has been the net result of Saban's three national championship conquests.

Saban has been married to his wife, Terry Saban, for 42 years, and she seems to be far calmer than her hyperactive husband.

She noted that when a massive tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa back in 2011, it was the first time Nick Saban put football aside. He told his players they had to go support and help the people who had always supported their team.

Nick Saban has been at Alabama going on seven seasons, marking the longest stop of his coaching career.
Nick Saban has been at Alabama going on seven seasons, marking the longest stop of his coaching career.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The couple put together a relief fund that has helped restore 15 new homes destroyed by the tornado, according to Keteyian.

Terry Saban believes her husband is mellowing a bit, but that outsiders may not see it.

All indications are that football is still life for Saban. He inhales it, attacks it with passion, and demands nothing but the best from his young men on a daily basis.

The Process has been nearly perfected, but Saban won't rest on his laurels. Because of that, the Tide should continue to roll as long as Saban is at the helm.