The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

August 11, 2013

Bama's Saban bellying up to the Bear

(Continued)

Saban says the Bear is best

It seems unlikely the 61-year-old Saban will approach the longevity of Bryant, who retired in 1982 as college football's winningest coach with a 323-85-17 record and died within a month of his final game. He won six national titles and 13 conference crowns at Alabama.

Saban is 154-55-1 in 17 seasons.

He insists Bryant is likely the best coach in college football history and said as the man most responsible for establishing Alabama's tradition his famed predecessor must "be recognized as the person most responsible with contributing to the tradition."

"I think because of the respect for that tradition that a lot of people have on a national basis, the Crimson Tide is one of the most recognizable names in sports," Saban said. "When we started having success again that just heightened the awareness all these people have nationwide in terms of the University of Alabama in tradition of football that was really started back when that Bear Bryant probably elevated to te level it's at now."

Both Saban and Bryant have rebuilt Alabama quickly. It took Saban three seasons to win a national title; Bryant did it in four. They've got statues outside Bryant-Denny Stadium — down Paul W. Bryant Drive from the Paul W. Bryant Museum and Paul W. Bryant Hall.

Both also transcended sports to a degree. Among the framed national magazine covers lining the walls of the football building: Time with Bryant's face beneath "SUPERCOACH"; down the hall, Saban stares back as "Sports' Most Powerful Coach."

'The best leaders'

The coaches both cut intimidating figures and commanded respect from their players. Sington, who played for Alabama in 1958 and 1959, said he couldn't imagine calling them anything but "Coach Bryant" and "Coach Saban."

"They are the best leaders I've ever been around," Hall of Fame linebacker Lee Roy Jordan said. "They are out there inspecting what they expect the players to do every second. They are challenging the guys every play to try to reach that potential that each player has."

Jordan steers clear of trying to figure out which coach was better.

"I will never get in a debate on that, because I think they're both unbelievable coaches," the former Tide and Dallas Cowboys star said. "I don't think we've got to pick one over the other. I'm extremely proud that we have had both of them at the University of Alabama. They create their own history and the records and the reputations of the players they put out."

Text Only
Sports
  • CEO: Sterling staying on a 'disaster' for Clippers

    Coach Doc Rivers has said he'll resign from the Los Angeles Clippers if Donald Sterling remains owner, the team's interim CEO testified, saying such a move would be a "disaster" for the franchise.

    July 23, 2014

  • Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH

    In a confidential 2013 survey of 3,705 high school students, 11 percent reported using synthetic HGH at least once — up from about 5 percent in the four preceding annual surveys.

    July 23, 2014

  • CEO: Clippers coach to quit if Sterling stays

    CEO Richard Parsons testified at a trial to determine whether Sterling's wife, Shelly, can sell the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer as the NBA looks to force Donald Sterling from the league over racist statements.

    July 23, 2014

  • dunk.jpg Tedford, Potts take on the South

    While the North team has a lengthy winning streak in the basketball series, Tedford and Potts will face a tough battle against three players already committed to SEC schools on the South team.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arkansas State player earns conference honors

    Qushaun Lee led conference in tackles with 134 —the sixth most tackles in conference history and most by an Arkansas State player since 1991.

    July 22, 2014

  • Clippers' future on line as probate trial resumes

    The future of the Los Angeles Clippers is closer to decision as testimony resumes Monday in a probate trial over whether a deal negotiated by Donald Sterling's estranged wife to sell the team for $2 billion is authorized under a Sterling family trust.

    Sterling, the volatile owner of the team, agreed to the sale but then tried to revoke consent in spite of a signed letter instructing his wife Shelly Sterling to sell for the highest price she could get.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tuesday could be time to 'play ball' for Biloxi

    July 21, 2014

  • Manchester United adds Hernandez for U.S. tour

    Javier Hernandez played for Mexico in the World Cup, appearing in all four of El Tri's games and scoring against Croatia.

    July 20, 2014

  • AP sources: Bon Jovi part of group eyeing Bills

    Jon Bon Jovi previously expressed interest in owning an NFL franchise but never specifically mentioned the Bills.

    July 19, 2014

  • Former NFLers: Painkillers easy to get up to 2012

    The NFL is not aware of "any DEA subpoenas or investigations into club practices," spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in an email Friday.

    July 18, 2014

Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee