“We want to be a champion”: looking back on the 10th anniversary of Saban’s Bama introduction

(WIAT) — Much like January of 2017, it was unseasonably warm and kind of rainy when Nick Saban stepped up to the podium at the Mal Moore Athletic Facility.

Fresh from his first, and last, ever losing season as a head coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2006, Saban returned to a different SEC amid skepticism from all sides.

Saban, in what would become his classic deliberate fashion, laid out several goals for the program that he would soon be running.

“In everything that we do: every choice, every decision, everything we do everyday; we want to be a champion,” Saban told the media.

Saban took time to make his expectations clear not only for his own program, but also gave advice for those looking to help from the outside.

“Whether it’s being a fan, [or] being a booster, be a good one,” Saban said. “Any kind of supporter you are for this team, everyone take ownership.”

Players, staff, and fans have had an easy time buying into Saban’s program in the years since, but he also made his players’ classroom performance a top priority.

“We want to have a great academic support system, and our players to succeed as students,” Saban said.

With an impressive array of Academic All-Americans, and one Rhodes Scholar candidate under his belt in former quarterback Greg McElroy, Coach Saban can point to concrete success in that department.

In the years since his return, it has become obvious that both the Alabama Crimson Tide and Nick Saban made the right decision to join forces with the hardware to back it up.

With a possible 17th championship for the program overall, and Saban coming up on his chance to close the gap on Bear Bryant’s six titles with his fifth on Monday, watch the video above to see how CBS42 covered Saban’s introduction.

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