It’s not often you can put a college football coach and the leader of Catholicism in one post and it make sense, but this is one of those situations.
Thursday, Fortune magazine announced its third annual, 50-person-strong list of “World’s Greatest Leaders.” Just one college football head coach made the exclusive list: Alabama’s Nick Saban at No. 11, ahead of the likes of U2 frontman and philanthropist Bono (No. 14), Blackrock CEO Larry Fink (No. 21), Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chavez (No. 24), Argentine president Maurizio Macri (No. 26), the first women to graduate from Ranger School (No. 34), the heads of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (No. 41) and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau (No. 48).
Not only is Saban the only college coach to make the exclusive list — there’s at least one other SEC connection, though: Auburn grad and Apple CEO Tim Cook — he’s one of only three associated with any type of sports, period. The other two? The Golden State Warriors duo of Steve Kerr and Steph Curry at No. 15.
“In business, government, philanthropy and the arts, and all over the globe, these men and women are transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same,” the magazine wrote in describing its endeavor. Below is the blurb attached to Saban’s selection:
The dynasty was over. That was the consensus of the pundits after Alabama’s 43–37 loss to Ole Miss in its third game of the season last September. The famed “process” that Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban, 64, had used to win three national titles in football at Bama—while boosting graduation rates—and one at LSU had run its course, and the competition had caught up. Saban challenged his team: “How are you going to respond?” When Alabama defeated Clemson 45–40 for another title on Jan. 11, 2016, he had his answer, and the dynasty—and Saban’s legacy as a leader—remained intact.
As for the 10 individuals who merited spots above Saban? Here you go…
1. Jeff Bezos (CEO, Amazon)
2. Angela Merkel (Chancellor, Germany)
3. Aung San Suu Kyi (Leader, National League for Democracy)
4. Pope Francis (Pontiff, Roman Catholic Church)
6. John Legend (Recording artist and activist, The Show Me Campaign)
7. Christiana Figueres (Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change)
8. Paul Ryan (Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives)
9. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court)
10. Sheikh Hasina (Prime Minister, Bangladesh)