To view a photo gallery of photos from the Nick Saban event, click here.
Friends and fans of Nick Saban filled Fairmont State University's Colebank Hall on May 25 for a Marion County Chamber of Commerce event to welcome the legendary coach home to Marion County.
Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, is a native of Marion County and a former Monongah High School athlete. Of course, football fans know Saban led Alabama through a memorable 2009 season, including a perfect 14-0 season and the 2009 BCS National Championship, beating Texas by 37-21 in the Rose Bowl.
Gov. Joe Manchin, who had attended an event for the Education Alliance in Charleston earlier in the day with Saban, gave remarks at the Chamber's reception. Saban's former teammates at Monongah, Sen. Roman Prezioso and Kerry Marbury, also spoke.
Marbury introduced Saban as his best friend and talked about the support he's received from Saban throughout the years growing up together and with his recent battle with cancer.
Both Manchin and Saban spoke highly of the life lessons they learned growing up in Marion County, including a focus on family values and brotherhood. Saban thanked his former coach Earl Keener and recognized former Fairmont State coaches Deacon Duvall and Joe Retton as the best two coaches in America during their years at Fairmont State.
After the formal program, Saban mingled with those gathered, signing autographs and posing for photos.
Event sponsors included the following: Alpha Associates; Anvil Oil & Gas Company; Azimuth, Inc.; Exit 132 Pontiac, Buick, GMC; Fairmont General Hospital; Fairmont State Alumni Association; Fairmont State Athletic Association; Fairmont State Foundation, Inc.; Fairmont State University; Game Time Athletics; Global Science & Technology; Huntington Bank; Kenny Construction; Marion County Commission; Northern Mountain State Metals; Omni Associates-Architects; Rider Pharmacy; Stan Cameon Allstate; Tanfastics 5 Star Tanning; The Hartford Smart529 College; Times West Virginian; TMC Technologies, Inc.; Toothman Rice; Tygart Valley Cinemas; US Cellular/Wilfong Wireless; WesBanco Bank; and the WVHTC Foundation.