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Colts wanted Nick Saban as their head coach in 1998

According to a new biography on Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Bill Polian and the Colts wanted Saban as their head coach in 1998.

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Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Saban has racked up a pretty impressive collegiate coaching resume.  In 20 seasons he has compiled a 182-59-1 record (.754), won three national championships, and won six national coach of the year awards.  In eight seasons at Alabama, Saban has taken that success to another level, racking up a .843 winning percentage and winning all three national titles.  He spent two seasons in the NFL, coaching the Miami Dolphins in 2005 and 2006 and compiling a 15-17 record.

According to a new biography on Saban by Monte Burke, however, that almost wasn't Saban's first NFL head coaching job, as Indianapolis Colts general manager wanted Saban as his head coach in 1998.  Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio pointed this out recently after reading the biography, and Polian told Burke that, after meeting with Saban (who was currently the head coach at Michigan State), "I was prepared to offer him the job."

So why didn't it happen?  As you might have expected with Bill Polian running the show in Indy, it came down to the issue of control.  Saban wanted control over personnel (both players and coaches) and Polian wasn't willing to give it up.  The Colts had just recently hired Polian precisely because of his personnel prowess (he was good enough that he'll be going into the Hall of Fame in just a few weeks), so it was clear that Polian was going to remain in charge - the right decision to make as well.  Plus, as Florio notes, they were about to draft a franchise quarterback in Peyton Manning who loves to be in control, so having three integral people like that (in Polian, Saban, and Manning) probably wouldn't have worked.

The Colts, who had just fired Lindy Infante after two seasons, eventually settled on hiring Jim Mora as their head coach.  Mora coached the Colts for four seasons, leading them to a 32-32 record and two playoff appearances before he was fired following the 2001 season.  That paved the way for the team to hire Tony Dungy in 2002, and the rest is history.  But according to Monte Burke's new biography on Nick Saban, Polian initially wanted to hire Saban as his head coach in Indianapolis.