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Best Nick Saban Quotes on Leadership, Success, Team and Inspiration

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison04/06/22


Nick Saban has had one of the greatest careers of any college football coach, ever. In each of his four stops as a head coach at the college level, Saban has turned each program around. At LSU and Alabama, he turned the programs into national powers, winning National Championships with each one of them. When it’s all said and done, he’ll be primarily remembered for his time as the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, where he’s won six National Championships. In many people’s minds, he’s even passed the legendary Bear Bryant.

In a long and successful career like Nick Saban’s, he was bound to become incredibly quotable. So, let’s dive into some of his greatest quotes:

10 Best Quotes From Nick Saban

  1. “Mediocre people hate high achievers, and high achievers hate mediocre people.”
  2. “You guys gave us a lot of really positive rat poison. The rat poison that you usually give us is usually fatal. But the rat poison that you put out there this week was yummy.”
  3. “We’re not going to talk about what we’re going to accomplish. We’re going to talk about how we’re going to do it.”
  4. “I don’t think it’s about who you play, I think it’s about who you are.”
  5. “Eliminate all the clutter and all of the things that are going on outside and focus on the things that you can control with how you go about and take care of your business. Take the other team out of the game and make it all about you and what you do.”
  6. “You all just think that, whatever happens we just shit another player, everything’s going to be perfect. All of our fans think that, you all think that, that’s what you write about, that’s the message that you send out there.”
  7. “If it was up to you, we’re six-foot under already. We’re dead and buried and gone. Gone. So, if that was the case, we’d have to get some respirators out or something down there to put life back in people.”
  8. “I think everybody should take the attitude that we’re working to be a champion, that we want to be a champion in everything that we do. Every choice, every decision, everything that we do everyday, we want to be a champion.”
  9. “One thing about championship teams is that they’re resilient. No matter what is thrown at them, no matter how deep the hole, they find a way to bounce back and overcome adversity.”
  10. “It’s not human nature to be great. It’s human nature to survive, to be average and do what you have to do to get by. That is normal. When you have something good happen, it’s the special people that can stay focused and keep paying attention to detail, working to get better and not being satisfied with what they have accomplished.”

Inspirational Quotes From Nick Saban

  • “Mediocre people hate high achievers, and high achievers hate mediocre people.”
  • “Success doesn’t come from pie-in-the-sky thinking. It’s the result of consciously doing something each day that will add to your overall excellence.”
  • “Discipline is not punishment. Discipline is changing someone’s behavior.”
  • “I don’t care what you did yesterday. If you’re happy with that, you have bigger problems.”
  • “I’m tired of hearing all this talk from people who don’t understand the process of hard work — like little kids in the back seat asking, ‘Are we there yet?’ Get where you’re going one mile-marker at a time.”

Leadership Quotes From Nick Saban

  • “Becoming a champion is not an easy process… It is done by focusing on what it takes to get there and not on getting there.”
  • “There’s two parts of leadership: You’ve got to be a good leader. You’ve got to be somebody that people want to emulate and care about the other people. But the other guys that you have have to accept their leadership. They have to respond to it. That’s the chemistry that you never know how that is going to happen.”
  • “Some of the great leaders in history were not adored but respected. My advice to leaders: Stop trying to please everyone and do what you believe is best.” 
  • “The more one emphasizes winning, the less he or she is able to concentrate on what actually causes success.

Funny Quotes From Nick Saban

  • “I guess I have to say it, I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.”
  • “And they ran through our ass like shit through a tin horn, man, and we could not stop them. We could not stop them. Could not stop them.”
  • “Everybody hits me up for eating Little Debbies, but no one passes that cookie jar.”
  • Why do you continually try to get me to say something that doesn’t respect one of them? I’m not going to, so quit askin’.”
  • “Make his ass quit.”

Team Attitude Quotes From Nick Saban

  • “So my question to you is, where do you want them to be? Want to condemn them to a life sentence? Or do you want a guy to have his children going to Princeton?”
  • “I think I’ve always been kind of geared up to always sort of look at what’s in front of you, not necessarily look what’s behind you, and I think that the next game is always the most important, the next season is always the most important, the next team, the next group of players, and there’s always a great challenge in that. I think that we sometimes use the analogy of every season is like climbing a mountain, and obviously when you get in a situation like we’re in now, both teams, it gets a little more treacherous at the top in terms of the consequences of mistakes and things that can happen.”
  • “We create a standard for how we want to do things and everybody’s got to buy into that standard or you really can’t have any team chemistry. Mediocre people don’t like high-achievers and high-achievers don’t like mediocre people.”
  • “There are three things we can’t have: We can’t have complacency. We can’t have selfishness and we can’t lose our accountability.”

Success Quotes From Nick Saban

  • “There is no continuum for success. Focus on the progress, not the results.”
  • “We kind of have a younger generation now that doesn’t always get told no. They don’t always get told, ‘This is exactly how you need to do it.’ So, they have this illusion they have all these choices. But the fact of the matter is, if you want to be good, you really don’t have a lot of choices because it takes what it takes.”
  • “I want everybody here to know, this is not the end. This is the beginning.”