Legendary Alabama coach Nick Saban urged players to block out ‘external factors’ and ignore internet trolls

Join Fox News to access this content

You have reached your maximum number of items. Log in or create a FREE account to continue reading.

Please enter a valid email address.

By entering your email address and pressing Continue, you agree to the Fox News Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, including our Financial Incentive Notice. To access the content, check your email and follow the instructions provided.

Having problems? Click here.

Nick Saban shocked the college football world when he announced his retirement from coaching. The seven-time national championship winner has since taken on a “support” role at Alabama, the program he coached to six national titles.

While Saban faced challenges throughout his storied career, he also faced criticism off the field. In December, the undefeated Florida State Seminoles were left out of the top four of the College Football Playoff rankings. The Saban-led Crimson Tide took the fourth and final playoff spot, sparking controversy.

Some upset fans decided to contact Saban directly.

“My phone is getting blown up by people who didn’t come in. Like I’m responsible for that,” Saban said last December on “The Pat McAfee Show.” This week, Saban offered a blunter take on “internet haters.”


Nick Saban in Georgia

Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide before the SEC championship game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 4, 2021 in Atlanta. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Saban said one of the challenges he faced as a coach was trying to minimize the impact of “external factors” such as opinions on the internet.

“It amazes me that a man sits in his basement, probably in his mother’s house, probably in his underwear, probably overweight, and he puts something on the Internet and everyone cares what he thinks,” Saban said during the Irondale Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. in Alabama.

“But it would impact our players,” Saban said. “And I was constantly trying to make sure that they weren’t influenced by external factors, what other people think.”


Saban added that “doing the right things” should ultimately carry more weight.

“Being confident and believing that you’re doing the right things is so much more important than what anyone else thinks,” Saban said. “So that was one of the most challenging things, to not let external factors – and you’ve heard me use the term ‘rat poison’ – influence what you do and how you do it.”

Nick Saban is a coach at the CFP

Alabama head coach Nick Saban reacts after running back Jase McClellan scores a touchdown during the second half of the Rose Bowl CFP NCAA semifinal against Michigan on January 1, 2024 in Pasadena, California. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong, file)

Saban also reflected on the “most humiliating” loss of his coaching career.

“If you remember the first year we were in Alabama, we lost to ULM,” Saban said. “You might not even know what that stands for: University of Louisiana-Monroe. It was the most humiliating defeat, perhaps of my entire coaching career.”

The game Saban was referring to took place in 2007 at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Louisiana-Monroe celebrated a 21-14 victory over the Crimson Tide.

“I think we had five guys suspended by the NCAA,” Saban said. “We suspended three more for disciplinary reasons. We played terribly in the match. I was almost ashamed of the way we represented the university and the program. We fumbled the ball six times. So in the end we were defeated in the match. Everyone is Fans are disappointed.”

Nick Saban at SEC media days

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban speaks during the 2023 SEC Media Days at the Grand Hyatt Nashville, July 19, 2023, in Nashville. (Johnnie Izquierdo/Getty Images)

Shortly after Saban’s retirement, Alabama announced that Kalen DeBoer would leave the Washington Huskies and take on the role of head coach in Tuscaloosa.

“I want to draw as little attention as possible to my presence here,” Saban told ESPN. “So I want to be supportive. I want to be helpful, but I don’t want to look over anyone’s shoulder.”


Saban will step into his new role as an analyst on ESPN’s “College GameDay” later this year.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports reporting on Xand subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.