Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lou Saban

Lou Saban already had established himself as a football coaching legend - albeit one who hopped from job to job - by the time he landed at Army in 1979.

Prior to the season, Saban came to Kingston to speak to one of the service groups. The luncheon meetingtook place at what was once a restaurant and banquet facility on Route 28, just across from Potter Bros., where a motel and pizza parlor now stand.

Saban was here to drum up interest in the Army program and hopefully sell a few tickets to the games at West Point. I was the Freeman's sports editor in those days, so I assigned myself to the event and dutifully recorded his comments for a Sunday column.

After the speech, I walked out to the parking lot with Saban. I had a few questions of him to help fill in some blanks in my column. I asked the questions and he talked. And he talked. And he talked some more, just the two of us in a now-empty parking lot, long after his commitment to the service club and me had expired.

You have to understand, it wasn't often (and still isn't) that a major sports figure came to town. Some are more generous than others. Saban was a cut above that.

Put another way, Saban didn't have to give me the time of day. Instead, he gave me all the time I wanted.

Lou Saban died the other day at age 87. I'll always think highly of him.
comments powered by Disqus

<< Home