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Saban shares importance of faith and its impact on him

Former Alabama head coach Nick Saban shared a powerful statement Thursday about how his faith impacted his career over the years as well as his coaching philosophy. He was the featured speaker at the Irondale Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.

“I think church and faith is so important to moral development, to doing the right thing … if it wasn’t for my faith, I’m not sure that I could stand up for some of the things that we’ve stood up for over the years,” he said.

“The challenge to me every day is I pray not to get angry, not to get emotional, because when I do those things, I’m not a very good teacher.”

Asked to share a moment in which his faith helped him overcome a specific challenge, Saban gave a thought-provoking answer.

“When everybody gets up here and speaks in front of the group, including myself, we’re all a little nervous, a little anxious … because you’re thinking of one thing, ‘what’s everybody going to think of me?’ And sometimes we don’t do the right thing because we’re afraid of what people are gonna think if we do,” he said.

Without naming him specifically, Saban used the Henry Ruggs incident as an example of being afraid to do the right thing.

“One of our players, I’m not gonna call his name, he had a terrible accident, had a great pro career and ran into someone going 150 miles an hour while he was drinking,” Saban said. “And he had friends that could have told him ‘You shouldn’t be driving. I’m not gonna let you drive.’ But why did those friends not do that? Because they were afraid of what the guy would have thought of him.

“So I guess my faith has helped me always have the courage and the confidence to be able to tell people this is the right thing to do and not really care about what they think of me for telling them to do what’s in their best interest and how that can impact them in a more positive way even when they were ready to make a decision that may have a negative impact on their future. So that’s what faith has done for me I think.”

The entire Q&A can be viewed here:

Saban, a devout Catholic, left a lasting impact on the University of Alabama through his Saban Catholic Student Center church which opened in 2016.

Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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