In the southeastern United States, football coaches are often placed on the same pedestal other regions might reserve for popes and presidents, so most Alabama fans did not object when Nick Saban appeared in the same conversation as Pope Francis on Thursday.
The pair were included in Fortune’s list of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders,” alongside political figures, geniuses and the like.
Thursday night, Saban told reporters “I get a lot more credit than I deserve” (via AL.com‘s Craig Stephenson), and then echoed that statement on The Dan Patrick Show Friday morning.
“I get far too much credit for what happens,” Saban said, “because there’s so many people in our organization that contribute to it and buy into what we try to do that they all deserve a lot more credit than I do.”
He listed Don James, George Perles and Bill Belichick — all current or former coaches — among his mentors .
“I think all those people contributed to, you know, the feelings, the beliefs, the way you go about things,” Saban said.
The Crimson Tide are attempting to win back-to-back national titles for the second time since Saban arrived in 2007. Alabama is scheduled for a Friday afternoon practice, with the annual A-Day scrimmage set for April 16.