Nick Saban talked about the importance of good teachers. Not long afterward, the 70-year-old University of Alabama coach showed how important his teachers were to him as a youngster.

He began by mentioning the Nick’s Kids Teacher Excellence Awards, handed out by Terry Saban.

“I know Miss Terry is going to have her Nick’s Kids Teacher Excellence Award,” Saban said. “We appreciate good teachers more than you know. That’s why we try to always recognize them. Good teachers help individuals, at a young age, find their passion, find their niche, find what they want to do in life. It’s not always one size fits all. I think good teachers teach individuals and find what they really need to do to help them be successful and have a successful life. That’s probably one of the most important things in our society and why we try to do a really good job of supporting teacher excellence.”

A few minutes later, Kirk McNair of BamaOnline asked Saban if he remembered any of his teachers as a child. Saban showed impressive and humorous recollection of his childhood teachers.  

“I remember a lot of them, man,” said Saban, who didn’t stop to spell the names of the teachers he mentioned. “I can tell you every teacher I had in every grade. Most of the time, I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to do, so I was always getting corrected. All those corrections didn’t make a difference.”

He said he got a D in Miss Helminski’s music class because he didn’t stand up and sing.

“That was probably the best thing I ever learned about the importance of education,” Saban said. “My dad made me turn my basketball uniform in, sent me down to the coal mines and said this is where you’re going to end up if you don’t get an education. I remember her.”

He mentioned an English teacher name Miss Matthews next.

“She was a teacher that was a little bit like what I talked about earlier,” Saban said. “She didn’t teach everyone the same, which I think is important. Everybody has different interests and a passion. We should bring that out in those people, regardless what it is because they have a better chance to be successful in life. Those relationships are very beneficial.”

He then took a quick run through a list of teachers that included Miss Jones (first grade), Miss Carpenter (second grade) Miss Herndon (third grade). Miss Troxell (English).

“I couldn’t get, what you call it,  verbs and all that, I couldn’t get it right,” Saban said of Miss Troxell. “I can still see her jumping me. I remember Mr. Ezell giving me a whipping for doing something and when I got a whipping that meant I got a whipping when I got home. I got two whippings, I got the paddle at school and my dad got me at home.

“All those things, I think, contributed to helping me make better choices and decisions in my life. I really liked math, Miss Turkovich, was the best math teacher I ever had. I could just go on and on and on with the teachers. They all had a significant impact on my life and I certainly appreciate them more than they know.”

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