November 11, 2011 11:32 AM
By TRAVIS DOWNEY
Saban, who led the Crimson Tide to a national title in 2009, was announced as this year’s guest speaker by All Sports Association President, William Thomas.
“We are certainly honored and could not be more thrilled to have coach Saban serve as this year’s keynote speaker,” Thomas said. “We are incredibly lucky to have someone of his caliber highlight this event.
“It’s not everyday we get this opportunity,” Thomas added. “It should be a great night for All Sports and our community.”
This year’s All Sports Association Banquet is scheduled for Feb. 17. Tickets to the event will not be made available until the first of February.
Saban is the latest in what has become long line of notable speakers at the annual event. Past speakers have included NFL Hall of Fame inductee Paul Hornung (2009), former Florida and current South Carolina head football coach Steve Spurrier as well as Terry Bradshaw, Lou Holtz and Jim Kelly.
Saban will be the third Alabama football coach to appear at the banquet, joining former Tide coaches Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant and Gene Stallings.
“Our region has quite a fan base that follows Alabama football,” Thomas said.
Aside from guiding the Tide to its most recent national title, Saban also helped former running back Mark Ingram win the program’s first-ever Heisman Trophy in 2009, as well as a memorable 32-13 win over then top-ranked Florida in the SEC Championship Game.
Away from the field, Saban, along with his wife, Terry, started the Nick’s Kids Fund, an organization the couple started while at Michigan State and have since continued in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where the organization has raised and distributed over $1.5 million to more than 140 charities for disadvantaged children.
Since its inception, the All Sports Association has contributed time and money for local youth-oriented non-profit organizations with an emphasis on sports programs.