The showdown between Alabama and Notre Dame for the 2012 BCS title is twenty days away. With that in mind, Alabama head football coach Nick Saban was asked about his thoughts on the two respective greatest coaching legends of both schools, Bear Bryant and Ara Parseghian.
"When Saban was playing at Kent State (1970-72), what did he think of then-Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and then-Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian?
“When you're a coach, you really look up to people who did a fantastic job not only in their ability to be successful but in the example that they set. I know that when I was a kid growing up, I always liked Alabama. I always emulated some of the things that they tried to do, but being a Catholic kid growing up, I always watched Notre Dame and everybody in my family was interested in what Notre Dame did. I think Ara Parseghian probably was as classy a coach and as classy a human being, not only relative to what he did as a coach but all that he's done since he's not been coaching in terms of raising funds and money for research and fighting disease and different things that have affected his family. I just think he's one of the all-time classy coaches that has ever had success. … Coach Bryant, in his tenure here, to have the kind of success that he had over time, consistency in performance over all that time and winning all those championships, the intangibles that his teams always seemed to play with, are the things that you really try to get your team to do. Whether it's the physical toughness, the effort, the finishing, the discipline to execute. I know that when I first started coaching, I read Coach Bryant's book, and it had a tremendous impact on me, in terms of some of the important things that would help you be successful as a coach. I know it's a little bit disappointing that you have to settle for … the two coaches that we have in the game, but I guess that's the way it is.”
On the brink of winning his fourth BCS title, Saban has all but cemented his status of ranked aside Bryant and Parseghian as being considered on of the greatest coaches in college football history.