On Jan. 7, 1982, a little-known assistant was fired from Ohio State’s football staff:
Nick Saban had just completed his second season as defensive backs coach under Earle Bruce. The Buckeyes finished 9-3 in 1981 and a No. 12 ranking in the Coaches Poll.
As we all know, that was not Saban’s final gig. He would continue to bounce around as an assistant for the staffs of Navy, Michigan State, the Houston Oilers, Toledo (head coach) and the Cleveland Browns before landing the head coaching gig with Michigan State. He’s been a head coach ever since, also leading LSU and the Miami Dolphins before settling down in Tuscaloosa.
He’s now considered one of the greatest college football coaches of all-time, winning four national championships – including three with his current program, the Alabama Crimson Tide.
And to think, 33 years ago his career was just a footnote buried in a paragraph of the sports page.
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