TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The American Heart Association announced tonight on FOX Sports that head coach has been named the recipient of the 2020 Paul "Bear" Bryant Award.
The award recognizes the country's top college football coach for his contributions both on and off the field. The award is selected after all bowl games have concluded and is voted on by the National Sports Media Association.
“Well, I don't think anybody really compares to Coach Bryant,” Saban said after Alabama’s 52-24 win in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Monday night. “In the era that he coached, the era that he won, he won a lot of different ways. He won throwing it. He won running a wishbone. He won it running conventional offensive formations.
“His legacy lasted over a long, long period of time. We all have to adjust with the times. Obviously things are a little different now. The challenges are a little bit different with the spread offense, the things that make it more difficult I think to play good defense in this day and age.
“I think Coach Bryant is sort of in a class of his own in terms of what he was able to accomplish, what his record is, the longevity that he had and the tradition he established. If it wasn't for Coach Bryant, we would never be able to do what we did. I mean, he's the one that made Alabama and the tradition at Alabama a place where lots of players wanted to come. We've been able to build on that with great support. His family has always supported us in a tremendous way that has helped us have the success that we have.
“But that tradition that he established, that's a big part of that.”
Saban, who won the Bryant Award in 2003 at LSU, joins former Alabama head coach great Gene Stallings as past Crimson Tide award receipts.
This season, Saban led the Crimson Tide to a perfect 13-0 record after securing his sixth national championship in 14 seasons at Alabama on Monday night, thanks to a 52-24 victory over Ohio State. He has coached more games (86) as the Associated Press' No. 1 team than any other active head coach.
The Paul "Bear" Bryant Award annually recognizes the country's top college football coaches for their contributions both on and off the field, making the sport better for athletes and fans alike by demonstrating grit, integrity and a winning approach to coaching and life. The award is the only college coaching honor selected after all postseason bowl games and the National Championship have been played.