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Music teacher inspired Nick Saban’s success


If not for a middle school music teacher, Nick Saban might not have turned into the championship coach that he is.

He was asked a question at Saturday’s Media Day going into Monday’s national championship game between Alabama and Georgia if he had a favorite teacher.

Well, Miss Gogsill was my English teacher in the seventh or eighth grade and all that stuff you have to learn in English about tenses and all that. But she was good because I hated it, and she got me to do it,” the Alabama coach said.

“Miss Turkovich was my math teacher and she was really good because I didn’t like that too well, either, and she got me to do it, and Ms. Helminsky was my music teacher, and if it wasn’t for her, I might not have been successful in life because she gave me a D in music when I wouldn’t get up and sing because I was shy, and my dad made me turn my basketball uniform in for getting a D and took me to the coal mines in West Virginia and we went down 527 feet and said this is where you’re going to end up if you don’t get an education.

“So I made up my mind after that that I’m going to do better in school, so I can thank Miss Helminsky for that.”

Saban said he has “tremendous” respect for teachers and has a teacher appreciation day at Alabama each year.

Teaching is all about inspiring learning, so if you’re a good teacher and you can inspire someone to learn and be motivated to learn and grow, they have a much better chance to be successful in life, and I think that’s kind of the goal,” Saban said.

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