1990: Nick Saban spurns a young coach; Urban Meyer

GR8TBUCKS's picture
January 22, 2013 at 1:48a

I was reading a wikipedia biography of Urban Meyer and saw where in 1990 a young coach Meyer while still the linebacker coach at Illinois State, called Toledo, Ohio head coach, Nick Saban to see if a position was available on his (Saban's) staff. Saban, however, never returned the call. According to an article written by Pete Thamel and published in the New York Times, Dec. 4, 2009, Urban Meyer was looking to return to his native Ohio. Meyer called Nick Saban who had recently been hired as Toledo's coach, to see if he could have a job on his staff. The article says that Meyer wrangled a home phone number for Saban and ended up speaking to his wife, Terry, for about ten minutes. Meyer recalled, "she (Terry Saban) was sold,"  he told his wife Shelley, "we're going to Toledo."  Saban never called, and the Meyers went to Colorado State. The article goes on to say that Terry Saban has not forgotten and Nick says she was right about that and that she lets him know from time to time, that she was right. Interesting article and I didn't know that they had this little history between them. Do you think this is all water under the bridge and let by gones be by gones or do you think this is something that would still tweak Urban and his always wanting to gain an edge on someone? Let me know your thoughts.

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Codeezy's picture

Good find, Good post. Id say its water under the bridge. I think being a coach rummaging through the ranks of mid major school position coaching jobs with aspirations of becoming a head coach has its memorable times and friendships made, but Im sure the alpha-male personalities these guys posess do not allow them to get hung up on people that have let them down. Coaches like Urban and Saban, at this time, were probably looking at other coaches how to step on and over them, not worrying about much else. If he does carry any reservations I hope he takes it out on Saban, perferrably right before the confetti shower of scarlet and gray.

GR8TBUCKS's picture

The thought of them meeting on the national stage crossed my mind when I came across this article. I wouldn't think Meyer would need any extra motivation when going for a championship but that's not to say he wouldn't have it in the back of his mind. With something as simple as a phone call Saban could have said, thanks but no thanks, I have all of my position coaches at this time. Or he could have looked at Meyer's background and said, hey I'll bring this guy home, and he'll probably coach his ass off for me. I personally, wouldn't like leaving someone twisting in the wind. I'm with you, I'm looking forward to the scarlet and gray confetti shower and if it's over this 'dynasty' AND Saban, so much the better. I guess if one wants to look for positives, Urban isn't on the Saban coaching tree either. Three cheers for his mentor, Earle Bruce!


mtharp's picture

. I wouldn't think Meyer would need any extra motivation when going for a championship but that's not to say he wouldn't have it in the back of his mind.
I hope he keeps it back there.  I still remember the special teams coach who over looked me as a frosh.  I used that as motivation for a long time.  Guess when the grays start showing up in the hair line though you cant use age for motivation anymore....

TMac's picture

In the hyper competitive world that they are in as D-1 HCs it's still there. It's not an everyday thought, but wouldn't it be sweet for Urban in the NC post game handshake to just say "your wife was right.".....and then head over to accept the Crystal Ball!

ONE Not Done!

Buckeyeneer's picture

I would think battling for SEC and National Championship berths over the last couple of years would weigh heavier on both of their minds.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

cinserious's picture

WTF!?!? Are you guys seriously up this early on 11W?

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Baroclinicity's picture

Some of us work overnights...

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

buckeye76BHop's picture

Good find man....and this really interesting.  Even adds more to the coaching rivalry between Meyer and Saban;-)


"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

captain obvious's picture

I will work hard everyday to make sure Im a better fan than BAMA fan

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

GR8TBUCKS's picture

There is no link; go to wiki/Urban Meyer, there is a paragraph in the body about it then, click on footnote 14 for the story. There's a couple paragraphs about it in the story, interesting read. I was doing some fact finding when I came across it, I was pretty surprised, never having heard about it before. Maybe it'll be brought up at the MNC since it's now public again, the two best teams in college football may just be headed towards that matchup.


Chief B1G Dump's picture

Great find, if I could up vote I would. It thinknfor Urban to have 2 national titles and a $4mil + salary I think it's water under the bridge and a nice one to laugh about...
Now if urban were a ditch digger and sitting at home on Saturdays eating cheetos now a days...different ballgame.

buckeyedude's picture

It worked out better in the end. Saban stayed only that one year at the Univ. of Toledo, and then went to Michigan State. And then went to LSU. And then went to Miami. 



dean7647's picture

This makes me curious as to how much more if this has been undocumented between college coaches.  The resumes of most college head coaches is as diverse as Urban's; I can only imagine some of the uglier unreported stories and the grudges that exist that aren't spoken of. 

GR8TBUCKS's picture

No doubt, there is probably a like story for every head coach since the beginning of football. Can you imagine how many coaches wanted to work for Jim Tressel? He was a friend to the end and he wasn't cutting any of his guys loose. The only openings on his staff would be for the guys who left wanting to move up in the coaching ranks.