This story appears in the June 15, 2015, issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here.
Dan Patrick: How was your daughter Kristen’s wedding?
Nick Saban: Fantastic. The bride was happy, and the bride’s mom was happy. So everybody’s happy.
DP: How emotional did you get?
NS: I was just really excited and happy. We’ve known this young man [Adam Setas] for a long time. They actually rode the school bus together when they were five years old [when I was] at Michigan State. I didn’t feel like we were losing a daughter. We were gaining a son.
DP: Song that made you dance at the wedding?
NS: “The Electric Slide” is one of my old favorites, so we were out there for that. I tried to learn the Wobble. That took a little more expertise, knowledge and experience. The groom is Greek, so we also had Greek dances. I learned one.
DP: How did he ask for her hand?
NS: It took him about a month. They told me that he was going to ask, and every time I’d see him, I tried to put us in a situation where he could ask, but he never did. Somebody finally had to beat it out of him.
DP: Don’t you realize how intimidating you are?
NS: No, I don’t realize that. I still feel like I’m a kid from West Virginia. It’s hard for me to understand why anyone would be intimidated.
NS: That’s a fact.
DP: What if she wanted to have the wedding in the fall?
NS: We’ve had a few of those. Sometimes people in the family get mad that I can’t come. My response to that is, I’d love to come, but if you want me to come you have to schedule the wedding when I can come.
DP: What if you’re playing a Division I-AA school? Is there a chance you’d take that off to go to a wedding?
NS: Never. As a coach your responsibility is to your team and players.
DP: You’ve expressed concerns that with the SEC no longer allowing coaches to participate in satellite camps, the conference isn’t on an even playing field with other schools.
NS: If we’re going to have a playoff between these conferences then we should try to level the playing field as much as possible. After eight years in the NFL, I look at their model. They do try to create parity and competitive balance, so it’s even.
DP: Is the College Football Playoff good for the SEC?
NS: I like the playoff. I think it creates a lot of fan interest and a lot of excitement. I think I was a little misunderstood when I said that I hate the fact that the playoff has minimized the impact of bowl games a little bit. Hopefully these things can survive together.