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Alabama HC Nick Saban credits Patriots HC Bill Belichick for his incredible coaching tree

Saban’s coaching tree is one of the best in history, and he credits Belichick for his teaching.

President Obama Hosts The College Football Playoff National Champion Alabama Crimson Tide Photo by Olivier Douliery/Getty Images

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban is the greatest college coach of his generation and he owes a lot of his success to New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Saban served as defensive coordinator for Belichick with the Cleveland Browns from 1991 to 1994.

Saban credits a lot of his ability to groom a top tier coaching staff to his time served under Belichick.

“I think that probably working for Bill Belichick probably helped me the most in that regard [of building a strong coaching staff], because it’s really the first person that really defined the expectation for what he wanted everybody in the organization to do, whether they were in personnel, whether you were a coach, whether you were defensive coordinator,” Saban said on ESPN, via 247Sports. “And that made the job so much easier for me and it made me grow as a coach, because I knew exactly what was expected.”

“Part of that was to develop, do research, and develop as a coach. I’ve tried to use some of those same principles with some of our coaches, and I think it’s worked out. I think they’ve benefited from it as well.”

While Belichick’s coaching tree has not had the most success, Saban has done a great job of helping his staff become head coaches throughout college football. The head coaches of the Florida’s Jim McElwain, Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, South Carolina’s Will Muschamp, Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio, and Georgia’s Kirby Smart are just a few branches of the Saban tree that have become head coaches in the college ranks.

Titans head coach Mike Mularkey, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, and Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett all served under Saban when he was coaching the Miami Dolphins.

Saban is coming off a College Football Playoff Championship season in 2015, his fifth national title in the college ranks, and has no signs of slowing down. Belichick deserves a good share of credit- or blame- for unleashing such an incredible coach on college football.