Richt, Malzahn, and Saban spend Friday night in Columbus - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Richt, Malzahn, and Saban spend Friday night in Columbus

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COLUMBUS, GA - Not often do you find Gus Malzahn, Nick Saban and Mark Richt all in the same place. But, it happened Friday night.  All three were in Columbus speaking at the Georgia Minority Coaches Association conference.

They are larger than life figures in this part of the country. So, high school coaches cleared their schedules to gain wisdom from guys like Mark Richt.

First thing I told them was a quote Bobby Bowden gave me when I was coaching for him,” Richt said. “He says if you want a better job, apply enthusiasm to the one you have. Do excellent work.”

And Gus Malzahn has plenty of stories to draw on...especially after last year's dream run to Pasadena.

I'm a former high school coach. I can really relate to where they're at. I just try to talk about my experience,” said Malzahn.

It was the Chris Davis kick return that propelled Auburn's season and stifled Alabama's momentum. Nick Saban says the losses in the Iron Bowl and Sugar Bowl removed complacency from their program. It was needed after three seasons without a consequential loss.

Sometimes, you need a few setbacks to straighten you out. I think the fact that we lost those two games has done a lot to make our players respect and realize what it takes to win,” said Saban.

For Gus Malzahn, talking about last season is a joy that brings back fond memories.

“ As a competitor, it's hard to get the last game out of my mind. If you removed that, there are a lot of great things that happen. Our program is back established where it should be,” Malzahn said.

But, Mark Richt doesn't like to talk about last season and the difficulties the Dawgs faced.

“ I think last year is over. I don't think too much about that. I think, if on a daily basis, if you're doing the things you need to do to get better, and compete at the highest level, that's all we can do,” Richt said.

Richt, Malzahn, and Saban might be the three most popular people in the South. And that's why coaches cherish every moment around them.

The next big event for the coaches is pro days. Auburn has their pro day on Tuesday.
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