Big 12 News

Nick Saban Really Was Longhorns Boosters’ Target in 2013: Report

NCAA Football: Alabama at Mississippi State

Nick Saban was the head coach Texas Longhorns boosters really wanted, and Saban actually considered it, according to ESPN’s Paul Finebaum.

Finebaum was talking with the Saturday Down South podcast on a variety of topics related to college football. With the Texas Longhorns preparing to join the Southeastern Conference in 2025, naturally the topic of the Longhorns’ flirtation with Saban after Mack Brown left the Longhorns after the 2013 season came up.

It’s been an open secret for years that the boosters were in hot pursuit of Saban, in the hopes they could get him to leave Tuscaloosa and come to Austin.


But Finebaum spilled some serious details on the podcast, including that the interest was not one-sided, that Texas boosters were willing to pay through the nose and that Saban ultimately said no because of those same boosters.

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From the podcast (as transcribed by

“I did a book with Gene Wojciechowski, and we had a nugget in the book that said that Texas boosters had tried to hire Nick Saban, which I think most people knew, but we had a source that said they had offered him more than $100 million and Texas fans acted like they didn’t want Nick Saban. The bottom line is they did want Saban and Saban was offered the job, and he considered it. He said to me and to anybody who would confront him with this, that the reason he didn’t go to Texas — he said this privately, he didn’t say this publicly — was he did not want to have to answer to 10 or 15 different boosters who all felt like they owned the franchise. It was a little of a Jerry Jones complex or a T. Boone Pickens complex in college football in the past.”

Saban has, of course, won more national championships since turning down the job. The Longhorns are on their third head coach — Steve Sarkisian — whose most recent stop was as Saban’s offensive coordinator at Alabama.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard.

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