By Ed Enoch
The University of Alabama System compensation committee on Wednesday approved a five-year contract for new UA head basketball coach Nate Oats and a two-year deal for his assistant, Antoine Pettway.
“We are all excited about the future of our basketball program and just all the outstanding achievements within the athletics department,” said UA Trustee Kenneth Vandervoort, chairman of the board’s compensation committee.
Oats will make about $2.5 million annually before bonuses, according to documents released by UA after the vote. Pettway’s salary is $325,000. During a conference call, the committee unanimously approved the contracts, which were previously signed by the coaches and Athletics Director Greg Byrne in late April.
Oats was named the new basketball coach on March 27. Oats previously was the head coach at the University of Buffalo. The agreement approved on Wednesday included paying a $750,000 buyout owed to Buffalo.
Oats announced in April that Pettway would stay on as an assistant coach on his staff. It will be Pettway’s ninth season as an assistant coach at UA.
The term of Oats’ contract is from March 28 until March 28, 2024. The agreement includes a base salary of $275,000, a talent fee of $2.175 million a year, and an expense account of $12,000 a year as well as a country club membership and a vehicle allowance. The contract also includes incentives for wins and players’ academic performances.
The incentives for the head coach include bonuses of $50,000 for winning the Southeastern Conference championship or the SEC Tournament.
In the first two years of the contract, Oats can also earn $50,000 bonuses for NCAA Tournament appearances. In the remaining years, the bonus for NCAA Tournament appearances drops to $25,000.
The incentives also include $25,000 for each early NCAA Tournament win and bonuses of $50,000 for each win in the Final Four, semifinals and the national title games.
The contract also offers a $25,000 bonus for being named SEC coach of the year and $50,000 for recognition as National Coach of the Year.
The buyout if Oats chooses to leave before the end of his contract starts at $8 million in year one and decreases by $2 million annually until it is $1 million during the last year. If UA chooses to terminate the contract without cause, the buyout is $9.2 million in the first year before decreasing to $1.8 million in year five.
Pettway’s contract is from May 2019 through the end of June 2021. In addition to the base salary, the contract also includes an automobile provision and incentives for conference and national tournament appearances.
Pettway will receive one bonus equivalent to one month’s base salary for either an SEC championship or tournament championship.
Pettway is eligible for a bonus based on how far the team advances in the NCAA tournament. A Final Four appearance by UA would mean a bonus of 18% of Pettway’s base salary.
Pettway’s contract includes a buyout worth 50% of his base salary if he chooses to take another coaching position in the SEC and 20% of his base salary should he leave for a post outside the conference. The buyout provision does not include moves to become a head basketball coach, according to the terms of the contract.