Florida offensive line coach Tim Davis, a former Saban assistant coach, joked at a May 14 Space Coast Gator Club gathering that he is amazed Florida coach Will Muschamp stuck it out so long on Saban's staff.
"Will coached under the devil himself for seven years," Davis said, according to Florida Today reporter David Jones (@DaveJonesUFbeat). "I only did three."
Saban said Tuesday during the SEC's annual spring meetings that Muschamp and Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley each called to apologize for the comments.
“I said right off the bat that this is not a reflection of the University of Florida, Will Muschamp or the program,” Saban said. “Really, it’s nothing to get too upset about."
Within days of Davis' comments, though, Saban said he was disappointed one of his former assistants held him in such low regard.
Saban reiterated those comments on Tuesday.
"I was disappointed because when guys work for you, you have feelings for them," he said. "You hope they don’t feel that way. If somebody did feel that way, I wish they’d tell me. I’m not trying to make anybody feel bad.
"When you’re in a position of leadership, sometimes you have to make people do things they don’t want to do for the betterment of the program and to get them to do their job the way they need to.”
Davis, 55, who coached Saban with the Miami Dolphins (2005-06) and Crimson Tide (2008), said the ultra-intense Saban and Muschamp are similar, yet very different.
"He's like the other guy (Saban) but he's got a personality," Davis said of Muschamp. "He'll smile at you. He'll talk to you. You understand? That's what he's all about. That's Will. I'm proud to work for him."
On Tuesday, Saban had high praise of Muschamp, who coached under Saban at LSU (2001-04) and with the Miami Dolphins (2005).
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Will," Saban said. "He probably did as good a job as any assistant coach ever did when he worked with us.
"He's a ball guy. That's how I am. I want to coach the players. That's how he is. Those are the guys I like the most."