Dec. 24, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban has been named to the 2008 Associated Press Coach of the Year after leading the Crimson Tide to a 12-1 record and a berth in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2, 2009 against Utah.
Alabama won its first 12 games of the season, including road wins over No. 9 Clemson, No. 3 Georgia and No. 15 LSU. The Crimson Tide posted a 7-6 record last season, which ended with a 30-24 win over Colorado in the Independence Bowl. The five-game improvement in is the greatest by a second-year coach in school history.
He also pulled in the nation's top-rated recruiting class, including such instant stars as All-America nose guard Terrence Cody, receiver Julio Jones and linebacker Dont'a Hightower.
“This should be the team of the year award,” Saban said. “It starts with my family, Mal Moore (Director of Athletics) and our President Dr. Robert Witt, but most of all the coaches and our team, the people who made a commitment and worked hard and persevered a lot to have a successful season. I’d like to accept this on behalf of them.”
In voting by college football writers, he drew 32 of a possible 62 votes. He outdistanced Texas Tech's Mike Leach (nine), Utah's Kyle Whittingham (six), Georgia Tech's Paul Johnson (five), Penn State's Joe Paterno (three) and Ball State's Brady Hoke (two). Five coaches got one vote apiece.
He was also named to the Associated Press Coach of the Year in 2003 after leading LSU to the BCS National Championship.
Saban was also named to the Home Depot Coach of the Year and SEC Coach of the Year this season. He is a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award and the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award.