Alabama rewards Oats with long-term extension

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Alabama and basketball coach Nate Oats have agreed on a new contract extension, the school’s athletic director said.

A source told ESPN on Friday that Oats’ extension is a long-term deal that will make him one of the five highest-paid college coaches in the country.

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne announced in a social media post that Oats’ contract is set to go before the school’s Board of Trustees next week.

“We are excited about the success of our men’s basketball program and Nate’s continued commitment to the University,” Byrne said in his post. “We look forward to him leading our men’s basketball program for many years to come.”

Since arriving in Tuscaloosa in 2019, Oats has led Alabama to two SEC regular-season championships and two SEC tournament titles. In his second season at the helm, the Crimson Tide won their first regular-season title since 2002, earning a 2-seed in the NCAA tournament and making a run to the Sweet 16.

Alabama made the NCAA tournament in 2022 and then earned the No. 1 overall seed in the 2023 NCAA tournament — the first 1-seed in program history — after again winning both the SEC regular season and tournament championships. They beat Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Maryland before suffering an upset in the Sweet 16 to eventual national runner-up San Diego State.

This season, Alabama is on track for a top-four seed in the NCAA tournament. It heads into Selection Sunday with a a record of 21-11 (13-5 in the SEC) after losing to Florida 102-88 in Friday’s SEC quarterfinal game.

“Obviously, we’d like to be playing (Saturday), playing for an SEC Tournament championship, but we’re in the NCAA tournament,” Oats said. “You know the 13 years before we got here, they’d only played two. This will be four straight for us, so we’ve got the program headed in the right direction.”

Oats has also improved Alabama’s recruiting, landing four five-star prospects and 13 ESPN 100 recruits since taking over the program. Brandon Miller, last year’s No. 2 pick, was the highest Alabama player selected in the NBA draft since Antonio McDyess in 1995.

Prior to replacing Avery Johnson in 2019, Oats was the head coach at Buffalo four four seasons, guiding the Bulls to three NCAA tournaments and back-to-back first-round wins in 2018 and 2019.

Oats last signed a contract extension in February 2023, a deal that paid him $4.5 million per year and kept him in Tuscaloosa until 2029.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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