63 Nick Saban Quotes on Success and Leadership

Nicholas Lou Saban Jr., popularly known as Nick Saban, is an iconic American football coach who has been leading the University of Alabama since 2007.

Hailed as one of the greatest college football coaches ever, Saban was born on October 31, 1951, in Fairmont, West Virginia.

After a successful high school football career, he earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Kent State University.


Saban’s coaching journey began at Kent State as a graduate assistant. He honed his skills across multiple collegiate and professional teams, including a stint as the head coach of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins and several universities such as Louisiana State University and Michigan State.

Saban’s excellence in leadership, strategy, organization and motivation culminated in a record-setting seven NCAA top-division football national championships.

Related: Bill Belichick Quotes from the Iconic Football Coach and John Madden Quotes from the American Football Coach

Saban’s brilliant career also features Bowl Championship Series national titles, College Football Playoff National Championships and eight Southeastern Conference championships, highlighting his exceptional role in American collegiate football.

He is widely regarded as one of the best college football coaches of all time.

Here are some of his best quotes on Leadership and Success from Nick Saban.

Best Nick Saban Quotes

“I’ve never considered joining Twitter, nor do I know why anybody would.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“There is no continuum for success. Focus on the progress, not the results.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“We create a standard for how we want to do things and everybody’s got to buy into that standard or you really can’t have any team chemistry. Mediocre people don’t like high- achievers and high-achievers don’t like mediocre people.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Discipline is not punishment. Discipline is changing someone’s behavior.” _ (Nick Saban)

“Discipline is not punishment. Discipline is changing someone’s behavior.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“Every choice, every decision, everything we do everyday, we want to be a champion.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Eliminate the clutter and all the things that are going on outside and focus on the things that you can control with how you sort of go about and take care of your business. That’s something that’s ongoing, and it can never change.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“Teaching is the ability to inspire learning.” ~ (Nick Saban).

What happened yesterday is history. What happens tomorrow is a mystery. What we do today makes a difference – the precious present moment.” ~ (Nick Saban).

Nick Saban Leadership Quotes

“Some of the great leaders in history were not adored, but respected. My advice to leaders – stop trying to please everyone and do what you believe is best.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“Great leaders are not always popular.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“People who are role models for the principles and values of the organization, who buy in and understand the vision of what the organization is trying to accomplish, and have the personality to inspire other people to the vision. You know, that’s what team chemistry and leadership is all about.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“The thing that concerns me the most is when I hear that people are making a lot of money a lot of ways except for the athletes, whether it’s on the bowl games, the TV contracts, the conferences, the schools, the coaches, however, you want to say it.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“High achievers don’t like mediocre people, mediocre people don’t like high achievers.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Success doesn’t come from pie-in-the-sky thinking. It’s the result of consciously doing something each day that will add to your overall excellence.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Your character is your accumulation of your thoughts, habits and priorities on a day-to-day basis.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“I’ve always been able to stay focused on trying to recruit good players and trying to develop those players.” ~ (Nick Saban).

Nick Saban Motivational Quotes

“We’re not going to talk about what we’re going to accomplish, we’re going to talk about how we’re going to do it.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“I don’t like to lose. I don’t expect to lose.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“The roster that we have today may change tomorrow. It is what it is for right now.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“We have got to use every opportunity to improve individually so we can improve collectively.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“The formula for success is every guy can make a difference for the entire team in whatever his role is. And to do it right, to get it right, is a critical factor in being successful.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“Be on time because it shows you care.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“The more one emphasizes winning, the less he or she is able to concentrate on what actually causes success.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“I think everybody should take the attitude that we’re working to be a champion, that we want to be a champion in everything that we do. Every choice, every decision, everything that we do every day, we want to be a champion.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“We have to compete within ourselves relative to the determination it takes to be successful.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“It doesn’t matter what you are ranked until the end.” _ (Nick Saban)

“It doesn’t matter what you are ranked until the end.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“In the NFL you get one first-round draft pick if you’re lucky. You couldn’t really outwork anybody else. In college I could recruit ten players with first-round talent every year.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“The number one thing on any team that will keep your players from being selfish is respect for the other players.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“I think everybody makes mistakes. People do things that they regret.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“College football is the only game in the country, of any kind, that the college game is longer than the pro game.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“I don’t control what people put on dot-com or anything else. So I’m just telling you there’s no significance, in my opinion, about this, about me, about any interest that I have in anything other than being the coach here.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“I asked my priest if it was a sin to play golf on Sunday. And he said, “It’s a sin for you to play anytime.”” ~ (Nick Saban).


“You can’t win together if you don’t work together.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“The difference between belief and trust can be monumental. We may believe in others, but do we really trust them? To firmly trust people means putting your own successes and health in their hands.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Champions are rare. Everybody has some chance, some opportunity to change and improve, but not everybody takes advantage. Be somebody who does.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“Focus on the process of what it takes to be successful.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“There are two pains in life. There is the pain of discipline and the pain of disappointment. If you can handle the pain of discipline, then you’ll never have to deal with the pain of disappointment.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Mediocre people hate high achievers, and high achievers hate mediocre people.” ~ (Nick Saban).

Nick Saban Process Quotes

“Focus on the process of what it takes to be successful.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“I’m tired of hearing all this talk from people who don’t understand the process of hard work-like little kids in the back seat asking ‘Are we there yet?’ Get where you’re going 1 mile-marker at a time.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“One thing about championship teams is that they’re resilient. No matter what is thrown at them, no matter how deep the hole, they find a way to bounce back and overcome adversity.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“If you don’t get result-oriented with the kids, you can focus on the things in the process that are important to them being successful.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“A good process produces good results.” _ (Nick Saban).

“A good process produces good results.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“By definition, a leader is “a person who rules or guides or inspires others.” But that’s not entirely true. A person “who rules” may or may not be a leader, even if he or she is the ruler or manager. You see, just because you’re in command of a company, a team, or an army battalion, that does not qualify you as a leader. Perhaps you attained that position by experience or success, or maybe you simply outlasted everyone else. Regardless, how you lead defines you as a leader.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Be all you can be in whatever you choose to do. The sky is the limit, so go for it. And do not create any self-imposed limitations.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“You can’t get from A to Z by passing up B.” _ (Nick Saban)

“You can’t get from A to Z by passing up B.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“I’m not going to be the Alabama coach.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Our goal is to work against things we have not seen that we will see in the near future.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“I don’t think it’s about who you play, I think it’s about who you are.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Character is what you do when no one else is watching.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Focus on the play like it has a history and a life of its own.” _ (Nick Saban)

“Focus on the play like it has a history and a life of its own.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Do what you do and be who you are.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Anyone who doesn’t win their conference has no business playing in the national championship game.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Any team that does not win it’s conference championship game should not play in the BCS title game.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“I think I’m pretty misunderstood, because I’m not just about football.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Live by the creed that a strong work ethic, playing by the rules, and doing things the right way will bring about opportunities for success and, ultimately, happiness.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Baseball manager Casey Stengel once quipped, “The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“Dominant teams rarely are outplayed or outclassed, but they sometimes beat themselves. Just because you are dominant does not mean you are infallible. Remember that dominance does not mean perfection; a lack of focus for even a short period of time can cost you. Do not relax when you are far ahead or dominating your marketplace. That is the time to push even harder.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“I don’t care what you did yesterday. If you’re happy with that, you have bigger problems.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“Great leaders do not rush to make changes because of failure.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“As a leader, you cannot force the opposition to feel they can’t succeed – they will do that on their own. But you can lead your team to such dominance that giving in becomes the opposition’s only solution. Keep on your team to push hard and, eventually, the other team will submit.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“That’s the mentality champions have. Winning on the road in sports or going into a rival company’s region and winning just feels better. Instead of seeing the challenge as We have to, we should see all challenges as We get to.” ~ (Nick Saban).


“The difference nowadays is that when I go on vacation I work some of the time rather than all of the time.” ~ (Nick Saban).

“A truly unselfish team player does not care who gets credit for success and is willing to take on blame when things don’t go right. Unfortunately, we live in a world when the selfish seem to outnumber the unselfish. Pat Riley points out that the people who create 20 percent of a team’s effectiveness may feel that they are deserving of 80 percent of the credit and rewards. The weaker links on a team or in an organization are often the ones who clamor for more credit.” ~ (Nick Saban).

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar