Saban pays tribute to Johnson at funeral

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mamie Johnson was known as a sports enthusiast and a Crimson Tide fan. Yesterday, one of the biggest names in college sports – and especially Alabama sports – Nick Saban, paid tribute to her at her funeral.

Saban recalled a promise Johnson extracted from him when he was recruiting her son Nico to the Alabama football team.

“Miss Mamie made me promise to make sure he did the things he needed to do to be successful,” he recalled. “It’s not hard because of the job she did raising him.”

Saban attended the packed service at Andalusia First Baptist Church along with coach Kirby Smart and several of Nico’s UA teammates. Former AHS coach Tom Causey also spoke at the service.

Johnson, who was 49, died last weekend. For complete obituary information, see Page 6.