Evidently, the most influential motivators in the world are not limited to politicians, world leaders and the entertainment world. Alabama’s Nick Saban has made the list of the 50 Greatest World Leaders, according to Forbes Magazine.
It is fitting that college football’s most successful coach over the past decade be ranked among the best at motivating men to do great things. In a world where college and professional football is viewed as life and death my fans of the sport, Saban’s nod is the right call.
Saban is ranked 11th in a field of 50.
“In business, government, philanthropy and the arts, and all over the globe, these men and women are transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same. Read more about our third annual list,” stated the list on Forbes.com.
Saban is noted for taking his perennial powerhouse back to the national title, and winning yet another championship over the unranked Clemson Tigers. The Crimson Tide had reached a low point when it fell to Ole Miss earlier in the season. Saban, like he had done many times before, rallied his program and claim greatness once again.
The dynasty was over. That was the consensus of the pundits after Alabama’s 43–37 loss to Ole Miss in its third game of the season last September. The famed “process” that Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, 64, had used to win three national titles in football at Bama—while boosting graduation rates—and one at LSU had run its course, and the competition had caught up. Saban challenged his team: “How are you going to respond?” When Alabama defeated Clemson 45–40 for another title on Jan. 11, 2016, he had his answer, and the dynasty—and Saban’s legacy as a leader—remained intact.
Saban could be viewed as the Bill Belichick of the college game – the commitment to detail, the deadpan demeanor and the eye on success above everything else. The fact he can recruit players to come to campus and wait for their turn at a chance at a national title where they could start immediately speaks to his ability to mold high school athletes into better men once they have left the program. It’s one of the reasons the Alabama program has produced running backs who have gone on to the NFL and drafted in the first two rounds the past five seasons. Two, Mark Ingram and this past season Derrick Henry, have won the Heisman Trophy.
While there is little emotion that ever comes from Saban in an interview, he is quite outspoken as a head coach, especially when it comes to recent moves from his neighbors to the north, Urban Meyer of Ohio State and Jim Harbaugh of Michigan. Harbaugh has been making the rounds of the media circuit lately by “invading” SEC country with spring practice. Meyer has been holding satellite camps in Florida, much to the ire of coaches throughout the conference.
Although he is confident in his ability and the fact his program is the best in the toughest conference in college football, there is some humility that comes from being on top for so long.
Saban said he did not know in advance about the Fortune list. He seemed flattered, however, if a little bewildered.
“I guess that I get a lot more credit than I deserve obviously, but it’s quite an honor,” Saban said on AL.com. “A lot of people contribute to that in our organization, and I certainly appreciate what they do.”
Saban’s inclusion on the Forbes list puts him in rarified air. Also included on this list are Pope Francis, Senator majority leader Paul Ryan, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Tim Cook of Apple.