Golf

The insane measures coaching legend Nick Saban took to make a tee time

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Turns out Nick Saban, center, is just as obsessed with golf as he is with winning.
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With seven national titles to his credit, University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban is (arguably) the greatest to ever pace the sidelines on the collegiate level. There are legendary stories about Saban’s tenacity and obsession with success, and he apparently channels that same energy when it comes to golf.
Witness this tale from former Bama staffer Tyler Siskey, who joined Saban’s staff in 2013 as the associate director of player personnel and now hosts a podcast called the McCready & Siskey Podcast:
During a recent episode, Siskey shared a “welcome to Alabama” moment that illuminates Saban’s passion for golf — along with the insane amount of pull that the Bama head coach has in the state.
we just get Coach Saban to golf on time pic.twitter.com/uTLVGZq3Ff
According to Siskey, Saban held a staff meeting at 7:30 a.m. in Tuscaloosa, where the university is located. But Saban also had a tee time that day at Kiva Dunes, in Gulf Shores, Ala., about a five-hour drive from Alabama’s campus.
“I figured we need to get out of this meeting at 10:15 [a.m.] at the latest, or [Saban] is going to be pissed, because he’s going to be late for the golf tournament, the press conference, the whole deal,” Siskey said.
“Kirby [Smart, who was then on Saban’s staff] comes to me and goes, ‘Hey, look, you have your bag packed and you have it by your door. When he says it’s time to go, grab your bag and run to the parking lot.’ I’m going, ‘Are you serious?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah. You’ll understand. Trust me.’”
Despite the meeting running until nearly 11, Saban didn’t flinch when it came to getting his round in, making sure he and his coaches made it to Kiva in time.
As Saban wrapped up the meeting, he calmly looked up to his coaches and gave them the green light to grab their clubs and get ready, which caused plenty of chaos, considering the commute that was ahead of them.
But Saban didn’t flinch, Siskey said.
“At 10:57 [a.m.], one hour and three minutes before tee time in Gulf Shores, Alabama, [Saban] takes the reading glasses off real nice and calmly and goes, ‘Alright boys. I told ‘em we wouldn’t be late. Let’s go.’
“And when he said that, the room scattered like cockroaches with the light on. I mean, grown-ass men running down the hall, and he never broke stride. He is as calm as day, just got up, went to the office and just starts walking down the hall. We get out there to the parking lot.
“There are two vans and a guy goes, ‘Offense over here, defense over here.’”
In that moment Siskey realized how working for Saban and the Alabama football team is a different beast.
“They had a police escort that got us through town that took us straight on the runway,” Siskey said. “There were two jets cranked up. Not on the taxiway, on the actual runway. We got on, 23 minutes later we landed in Gulf Shore…I hit my first golf ball at 11:57 [a.m.], 60 minutes exactly from sitting in the staff room to hitting my first golf ball.”
That kind of commitment to making a tee time? Almost as impressive as Saban’s seven national titles.

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