Alabama head coach Nick Saban may be the greatest to ever do it, but he's still put in his place from time to time. Nobody does that to him more than his wife, Terry Saban, also known as "Miss Terry."
Of course, there's the time she made coach run because he lost his cool. And after Alabama's 40-17 win over Mississippi State on Saturday, Saban shared the reason he was pissed off during the game was because of Miss Terry, who told her husband to let his players have it.
"Miss Terry told me if they're not playing good to get on their butt," Saban said after the game. "So I just did what I was told."
Welcome back Cranky Nick Saban! We?ve missed you!
Thank you, Ms. Terry! pic.twitter.com/cUfynM8GHG
— TWO Rick (fr. Tide World Order) (@TWO__Rick) October 2, 2023
It should be noted that this was the first game Miss Terry has missed an Alabama game since Saban began coaching in Tuscaloosa. That means she watched on TV and could see much more of the game.
And here are all the times Saban was pissed off on the sideline:
Here's all the moments that the TV cameras showed of Nick Saban getting angry. Something about these clips made me more encouraged than what I saw on the field. Miss Terry, please continue to encourage Coach to act in this fashion. pic.twitter.com/QT7vA3FA4J
— Joe Gaither (@JoeGaither6) October 2, 2023
It seems like it's been a while since we've seen coach this animated. This could be the fire under his butt and his players' butts that propel the Crimson Tide to a national championship. Everyone knows they can't afford to lose another game after the early Texas loss.
Miss Terry, for what it's worth, is the real reason Alabama has stayed on top of the college football world for so long. She's responsible for helping securine top-flight recruits, keeping Saban in check, giving reporters plenty of laughs at press conferences and even suggesting coaching tips.
Nick Saban's Wife Terry Saban Calls the Shots
Miss Terry is the real MVP. She works behind the scenes. If Crimson Tide football were a movie, Saban would be the star actor but Terry is the director, producer and screenwriter of this Oscar-winning film.
When Saban was working his contract with LSU, Terry told the Wall Street Journal that she was just as much a part of the negotiation as he was. Add another title to her name: Agent.
Terry also reportedly gets forwarded all of Saban's emails and is copied on all of the ones he sends. That makes her his executive assistant of sorts. What can't this woman do?
Maybe most important is Terry's effect on potential recruits. She transforms into a socialite and host after Alabama's A-Day, when the Sabans welcome recruits and their families into their home on Lake Tuscaloosa.
While Saban makes the initial impression with his championship rings and gives NFL-hungry players his spiel to play at Bryant-Denny Stadium, it's Terry that makes players feel like they never even left home. When these wide-eyed high school kids take official visits, Terry will spend numerous hours alongside them.
"The only thing we use the dining room table for is recruiting," Terry Saban told the Wall Street Journal.
There's a reason Miss Terry is known as Alabama Football's First Lady. Without her guidance, Nick Saban would probably be lost.
She gives Saban coaching advice from time to time, telling him to run the ball more often when it's called for. When he snapped at ESPN's Maria Taylor over Alabama's quarterback situation following a win over Louisville in 2018 (a video that was instantly memed across the internet), Terry corrected him because he was in the wrong. He apologized to Taylor shortly after.
After Saban underwent hip replacement surgery and was forced to rest following it, Nurse Terry came home to find him standing in the driveway. She literally put him in his place, according to an ESPN article.
"What are you doing out here?" she asked.
Saban shrugged and deadpanned, "You left me all alone, and there's nothing to do."
"You're not supposed to do anything," Terry shot back. "Get back in your chair!"
Nick and Terry Met in Seventh Grade
Nick and Terry met for the first time in seventh grade at a science camp. Years later, they started dating while he was attending Kent State and Terry was teaching in West Virginia. Like two seventh graders, they sent each other love letters to account for the long distance.
In 1968, the pair went on their first date. Saban took her to see "Gone with the Wind" at a theater in Fairmont, West Virginia. Three years later they got married and have been together ever since.
The Sabans have two kids, son Nicholas and daughter Kristen Saban. They also have grandchildren now.
Until reaching Tuscaloosa, the couple had never really settled down anywhere. His illustrious coaching career has taken them all over, including Toledo, Michigan State, LSU and to the NFL with the Miami Dolphins as the head coach. The longest he stayed at any place was five years.
When Saban earned his first bonus check as defensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, he paid off the mortgage to Terry's parents' house. That comes as no surprise, because giving back is a common occurrence for the Sabans.
The Sabans Love Philanthropic Work
Terry is an integral part of running Nick's Kids Foundation, which has given $8 million to more than 300 organizations and charities throughout Alabama and the region. They've also partnered with Habitat for Humanity to build 17 homes for those in need following a 2011 tornado.
All of Miss Terry's off-the-field philanthropic work shouldn't overshadow her football knowledge, though, which is impressive considering how little she knew before meeting her husband.
"She did not know what a first down was when we first started dating, and there's no doubt in my mind that she thinks she ought to be the head coach at Alabama right now," Saban said. "No doubt."
"She is a hell of an assistant, even though she thinks she's the head coach, which when she's around, I always make her think that," Nick Saban told AL.com
Personally, I can't wait for the Auburn Tigers football team to introduce head football coach Terry Saban sometime soon.
For now, we'll have to settle for Terry and Nick leading the Crimson Tide to more national championship games. Alabama always has a chance to return to the College Football Playoff again if they can make the SEC Championship Game and run the table. Just remember Terry Saban's influence during the Mississippi State win when they do.
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