"I guess I have to say it. I'm not going to be the Alabama
As Miami Dolphins fans, we all know that quote, and the story
that follows behind it. Then Dolphins head coach Nick Saban
stood in front of the South Florida media and told everyone that
there was no chance he would be the head coach at Alabama, a
school that was aggressively targeting the former BCS National
Championship winning LSU coach. Thirteen days later, Saban
announced he was leaving Miami to become the Alabama coach.
A new book, Saban: The Making of a Coach, an unauthorized
biography written by Monte Burke, adds more details to the
behind-the-scenes deals being made that eventually led to Saban
being one of the most hated people among Dolphins fans. As
reported by Hal Habib from the Palm Beach Post, the final push
to get Saban out of the NFL and back to the college rankings did
not come from Saban or from Alabama, but rather from Terry
Saban, Nick's wife.
Habib writes that the book tells of Saban having indirectly
contacted Alabama - using the then Alabama Athletic Director Mal
Moore's nephew Chuck Moore, who was a home builder renovating
the Saban's Georgia home at the time, to express that Saban was
"possibly interested in the Alabama job." Mal Moore headed to
Florida as the calendar changed from 2006 to 2007, with the
hopes that Saban would meet with him.
Instead, Moore wound up meeting with Terry at the Saban's Fort
Lauderdale home; simultaneously, Nick was meeting with then
Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, where it was determined that
Saban would stay in Miami. When he left the Dolphins'
facilities, Nick called Terry, to tell her that he was going to
stay with the Dolphins and that he did not want to meet with
Terry had already invited Moore for dinner that night, and had
convinced Moore that Nick was "miserable in the NFL and dearly
missed coaching in college." Terry forcing the meeting and
giving Moore the ammunition he needed to convince Nick to head
to Alabama proved to be enough to change Nick's mind, and the
next day he spoke to Huizenga.
On January 3, Saban announced he was returning to Alabama.
The book, according to Habib's report, will focus primarily on
Saban's time at Alabama, but does have plenty of information on
his time in Miami. It was a short two-year period in the
Dolphins' history, but one fans still remember vividly. Saban's
repeated denials of interest in Alabama, including the December
21, 2006 press conference, only to then leave the team he was
supposed to be re-building into a champion, ripped apart the fan-
base - and led to Cam Cameron becoming the team's head coach for
a 1-15 2007 season.