June 20, 2008
SHREVEPORT, La. -
Alabama head coach Nick Saban was inducted into the Independence Bowl Hall of Honor Thursday night at a ceremony at the East Ridge Country Club in Shreveport. The honor comes six months after Saban's Crimson Tide defeated the Colorado Buffaloes 30-24 in the 2007 PetroSun Independence Bowl. Saban shared the honor this year with former Miami (Ohio) University and Indiana head football coach Terry Hoeppner, who was inducted posthumously, and former LSU quarterback Herb Tyler. Jane Hoeppner was on hand to accept the honor one year after her husband lost his battle with brain cancer.
"We are thrilled with the 2008 Independence Bowl Hall of Honor induction class," said Independence Bowl Executive Director Missy Setters. "We feel this is one of our strongest induction classes to date and we look forward to honoring these men who have made a huge mark in Independence Bowl history."
Saban has made two appearances as a head coach in the Independence Bowl and has a 1-1 all-time mark. He coached Michigan State in 1995 when the Spartans fell to LSU by a final score of 45-26. Saban capped his first season at Alabama with a 30-24 victory over Colorado on December 30, 2007.
"It's certainly an honor and a privilege to be recognized by the Independence Bowl Foundation," said Saban. "We're very appreciative that we would be considered. We are also grateful for the opportunity to play in last year's Independence Bowl. We really had a great week as the entire bowl staff and the community did an outstanding job of making us feel at home and treating us like family."
The Independence Bowl Hall of Honor is comprised of players and coaches who have exemplified positive achievements both on and off the field, and who participated in the Independence Bowl at some point in the game's history. The first class of inductees was honored in 1996 and the Hall of Honor includes head coaches Mack Brown, Frank Beamer and Fisher DeBerry as well as players Brett Favre, Deuce McCallister, Art Monk and Bruce Smith.