Who’s the True Bama GOAT?
Today, coach Paul "Bear" Bryant would have turned 107-years old. however the legendary Crimson Tide football coach passed away Jan. 26 1983, shortly after he retired from coaching at Alabama. Bryant's career spanned 25 years at The Capstone as leader of the Alabama football team and won at a tremendously high rate. But is he the best coach in Crimson Tide history, of has his legacy been passed by another?
Bryant's relationship with the Crimson Tide began as a player in 1931. He won the 1934 national championship as a part of a 10-0, Rose Bowl winning team. Playing opposite future NFL Hall of Famer, Don Hutson, Bryant was known as the "other end". He earned second team All-SEC in 1934 and third team All-SEC in 1933 and 935.
The Bear spent time coaching at Maryland, Kentucky and Texas A&M prior to returning to Alabama in 1958 to take over as the head football coach. During his tenure, Bryant won six national championships at Alabama in a 19-year span. He was named American Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year three times and won 13 SEC Championships.
Coach Bryant broke a six-year losing streak to Auburn in his second year on the job and won his first national title in his fourth season with the Tide. Bryant recruited the first black scholarship athlete in 1971. He even was responsible for orchestrating an offensive change to the wishbone that kept the Crimson Tide relevant throughout the 70s.
Bryant concluded his career with a 323-85-17 record, but is he the best coach in Alabama history?
Nick Saban was hired in 2007 after a down period in Alabama football history. He came to Tuscaloosa after an unsuccessful stint as coach for the Miami Dolphins. He has won six national championships but only five as leader of the Crimson Tide.
In his 13-year career at Alabama he has won six SEC championships and multiple coach of the year honors. Saban broke a six-year Alabama losing streak to Auburn in his second season and has never lost to Tennessee during his tenure as head coach. His first national championship came in 2009 after three years on the job.
Saban has hauled in recruiting class after class of highly rated prospects and maintains an .868 winning percentage as head coach at Alabama. He too made an offensive switch when hiring Lane Kiffin as offensive coordinator in order to run a more competitive offense.
Bryant and Saban are both top coaches in college football history but which one is the true GOAT of Alabama?