Pinkel and Saban Go Wayyyyy Back


We all know the relationship Nick Saban has with some of his former assistants Derek Dooley and Will Muschamp, but little has been known or said about Saban’s relationship with Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel.

Pinkel and Saban both coached and played at Kent State, but unlike today, both said they weren’t close as teammates.

“We never hung out much,” said Pinkel, who was a year behind Saban. “He had guys in his class that he hung out with. I had guys in my class that I hung out with.”

Both coaches were under head coach Don James, who speaks fondly about both.

“They were more interested in learning the total concept,” said James.

“Gary was on offense. It interested him the offensive concepts that we had, and Nick was the same way on defense. He wanted to know more than just about his position and that enables you to be a better player.”

To read more about Pinkel and Saban’s relationship, check out this article by


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