BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Throughout the years, Alabama coach Nick Saban has become sort of a spokesperson for college football.
When Saban talks, people take notice and listen in large part because he’s not afraid to speak his mind. And when Saban is passionate about a point, he doesn’t mind re-stating to make sure the powers that be are paying attention.
Prior to hitting the golf course for this week’s Regions Tradition Pro-Am, Saban spoke to reporters and was asked if there were any topic he’d like to discuss at the upcoming SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla. Saban said he’s looking forward to hearing what everyone else has to say, but also brought up two points that hold high priority for him.
“I think that there is a place for 10 coaches on a staff,” Saban said Wednesday. “The numbers just work out better with a special teams coach, that you could have nine (on-field coaches) and a special teams coach.”
Saban has long been a supporter of adding another coach to a program’s on-field staff. Alabama recently had to reshuffle its staff, which involved moving former tight ends and special teams coach Bobby Williams to an off-field role (special assistant to the head coach). Special teams duties are now in the hands of running backs coach Burton Burns. Alabama added Brent Key to coach the interior of the offensive line while Mario Cristobal is tasked with coaching the offensive tackles and tight ends.
The second issue Saban harped on was satellite camps. Saban has spoken out against having satellite camps as he feels they don’t add much value. But with the NCAA lifting their ban and the SEC allowing its schools to participate, Alabama and Saban have decided to join the fray. Saban hasn’t commented on when or where Alabama could conduct satellite camps, but expect the Crimson Tide to spread some of its coaches around throughout the Southeast and other recruiting hotbeds.
In any case, Saban isn’t a fan of having coaches pulled away from campus or having camps outside of Tuscaloosa.
“I’ve also brought up the fact that if we’re gonna change how we recruit and we’re gonna have satellite camps all over the country, that coaches are gonna be required to go to — kind of like we went through 25 years ago when you used to go to college all-star games all summer,” Saban said. “My wife was beating me over the head and I could never see the players that I coached because of going to all-star games everywhere in the country. Well, you can’t do that anymore, but now we’re gonna go do satellite camps.
“Every high school that’s got a prospect is gonna have a satellite camp and every coach in the country is gonna be expected to be there, and all these things happening are gonna create a circumstance where this was time that we spent with our players. And I still believe that it’s most beneficial to have people come to your campus, not for recruiting purposes. But our camp is not a tryout. It is actually a three-day camp where we try to enhance the development of football players so they can improve and play better for their team, and they get exposed to the way we do things at the University of Alabama so that might have some benefit in the future.”