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Nick Saban

  • Title
    Football coach
  • Affiliation
    University of Alabama

Late on a Monday night in early January, the University of Alabama’s quarterback, 19-year-old true freshman Tua Tagovailoa, threw a game-winning, 41-yard laser beam of a touchdown pass to give the Crimson Tide a 26–23 victory in the College Football Playoff. The win gave Alabama head coach Nick Saban his fifth national title in nine years at Alabama. Add an earlier one he won at LSU in 2003, and his six rings match Alabama legend Paul “Bear” Bryant for the most football championships by a college coach in the so-called poll era, dating back to 1936. Now that he’s succeeded to a historic degree, Saban is grappling with the sports version of what business guru Clayton Christensen famously dubbed the “Innovator’s Dilemma”—the fact that success today makes it hard to keep the edge you need to win in the future. But if the last few years are any indication, the grappling is going pretty well.

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