It’s hard to know where to begin. As a true Alabama fan, it has been a sad week.

For Nick Saban, the final fourth quarter of coaching is over. I personally feel that there is only one other Alabama coach who could even compare to Saban, and that is Coach “Bear” Bryant. Saban is definitely leaving a legacy and an expectation for current players and future players as well.

But we do know that the coach is not the only piece to the puzzle. In fact, if not for players, there would be no game.

Nevertheless, the coach does play an essential part in the game of football.

I watched my dad coach my little brother as I was growing up, and I remember thinking to myself, “He sure is being a little tough on those boys!”

I was so wrong. The older the boys got, the more I realized how much they needed the tough love and discipline of the coach to stay strong and fight through to the next play.

That type of coaching was exactly what Saban showed every day. He was consistent. He expected the very best from his players. "Mediocre people don't like high achievers, and high achievers don't like mediocre people,” Saban said.

It wasn’t about being fair when it came to playing time; it was about who showed up and who worked the hardest. Thus, to be able to play for the University of Alabama football team was and always will be an honor for any kid that walks out on that field.

In true Nick Saban fashion, he will still be watching over the Alabama players. The game won’t stop just because Saban moved his office down the hall instead of being on the field. “I’m gonna be here,” he said in a recent interview. “I’m gonna stay in Tuscaloosa. They are giving me an office in the stadium, and I said I can get on your butt from there just like I can on the field.”

To Coach Saban, congratulations on a retirement that is well deserved! To the new coach, Kalen DeBoer, I pray you bring the same qualities and characteristics on and off the field that Saban did.

I truly enjoyed watching all the Alabama football games through the years with my Dad. I have always wished that I could have worked out a way for Dad and Coach Saban to meet. I still haven’t given up on that. We will make it happen, Dad, but until then … Roll Tide Roll!!

Bama Alabama News

Ashley Carter is a wife, mother, and grandmother living in Elmore County, where she and her husband run Farm to Table Living and Carter Farms. Ashley serves as Controller and Executive Assistant at 1819 News. She is currently working on an inspirational book of short stories. To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email [email protected].

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