WACO, Texas – La Vega head football coach, Don Hyde, has his fair share of state championship rings, and Alabama’s Nick Saban is coaching in his ninth college football title game this season. Hyde is no stranger to Saban, as he came to La Vega high school for recruiting.

“He walked the halls of La Vega High school, not only walked the halls, he met every teacher in the high school stopped at every door and introduced himself,” Don Hyde said. Talked to everybody there, and then was gracious enough to sit around and take pictures with people who wanted to take pictures, and then of course came back to the field house and he was very gracious, spent about two or three hours with us, and got on the board and drew up stuff.”

Hyde is very grateful, that Saban took the time to share his knowledge.

“You know he’s a defensive guy, he’s not an offensive guy and a lot of what they do defensively is derived from him and Belichick when they were together,” Don Hyde said. “So any time you can sit in the room as a staff, one-on-one with a guy like him, that’s certainly a legend, you’re gonna find some things that are gonna be helpful, not just from the scheme but from the coaching points that make the scheme effective, we thought it was pretty special that he was willing to take four or five hours out of his day to spend time with us.”

Successful coaches remain students of the game, and that’s exactly what Hyde is.

“You know it’s just enjoyable to sit down and watch a game, I love college football, I’ll have a pen and paper right there with me just in case I see something I really like,” Don Hyde said. “I’m a defensive guy, so a lot of the time I find myself pausing and seeing how the defense lines up in certain formations and how they fit it according to the play they run, my wife will tell you I don’t like to talk very much during the game. I just like to watch the game. That’s why I enjoy watching it by myself a lot of the time, and my wife is sitting there with me. And at half time she’ll ask me a question or two, you know, during the game I don’t care much to talk about what’s taking place or having to explain something. I may back it up and say, ‘Look right here. This is what is fixing to happen.’ And she’ll go, ‘How’d you know that?’ And I say, ‘Well honey, I’ve coached football for 27 years. I can tell you what’s fixing to happen right here according how they’re lined up.'”