Nick Saban Receives the Willie Jeffries Trailblazer Award
On Thursday afternoon, Nick Saban added another award to the list. The Paul "Bear" Bryant Coach of the Year received the National Coalition of Minority Football Coaches' Willie Jeffries Trailblazer Award.
The Willie Jefferies Trailblazer Award is given to a person or group whose work in football has advanced the ideals of the NCMFC. Last summer, the group was founded by former Alabama offensive coordinator and current Maryland head football coach Mike Locksley. The board of directors is made up of 13 different athletic directors and coaches, including Saban.
According to the NCMFC's website, the organization's mission is "...dedicated to preparing, promoting, and producing minority coaches at all levels of football." After the death of George Floyd, Saban led his team on a Black Lives Matter march to protest social injustice. Despite negative comments from fans, Saban stood behind his team and refused to let the fight for racial justice disappear.
Six months later, Saban and the Tide started the hunt for the sixth national title. Despite the challenges from COVID-19, Alabama went perfect in the 10-game conference schedule and defeated Florida in the SEC Championship. Next, the Tide faced Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl and knocked the Irish out to advance to the national championship. Then, the Tide rolled in Miami as Alabama defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 52-24 to win the program's sixth national title and Saban's seventh in his career.
Alabama finished the unprecedented season as the kings of college football. Several Tide players won individual awards, including the Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith and Davey O'Brien winner Mac Jones. The national championship coach signed an extension to keep him in Tuscaloosa through 2028 and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.
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