Alabama men's basketball coach Nate Oats gets contract extension, raise, increased buyout

Cecil Hurt
The Tuscaloosa News

University of Alabama director of athletics Greg Byrne announced Thursday that head men’s basketball Nate Oats and the university have agreed to a raise and contract extension.

The new agreement will extend his current contract by three seasons to six years and keep him in charge of the Crimson Tide basketball program through March 14, 2027. The base salary and talent fee will increase to $3.225 million annually.

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Oats’ buyout based on his previous contract would now be above $10 million over the next two years. 

"We have put buyout measures in place that show the long-term commitment between both parties,” Byrne said in the UA release.

Alabama head coach Nate Oats gives his players a look during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against LSU, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)

"We are excited to agree to a contract extension with The University of Alabama,” Oats said. “Crystal and our daughters love it here, and we are committed to The University of Alabama. We feel like we have a lot of positive momentum going with our team and have the program headed in the right direction. Our administration is making a major statement with this extension as we all work on building a successful program for the long term. I know the winning history we’ve had with Alabama basketball, and I feel like we can add to that and accomplish great things here."

Now in his second season at the helm of the Crimson Tide program, Oats has guided Alabama (17-5, 12-1 SEC) to the top of the Southeastern Conference standings. The Tide is ranked No. 8 in the latest Associated Press Top 25, which is its highest ranking in the AP Poll since the 2006-07 campaign. Furthermore, the last time Alabama was ranked in the AP Top 10 in mid-February came in 2002. Projected as a No. 2 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, which would match the highest seed in program history, the Crimson Tide are two wins away from clinching the program’s first regular season SEC title in 19 years. He has a record of 33-20 (.623) across his two years at the Capstone and a 20-11 (.645) mark against SEC competition.

Prior to coming to Alabama, Oats spent four seasons (2015-19) at the University at Buffalo, where he led the Bulls to a 96-43 (.691) record, three MAC Tournament Championships and three NCAA tournament appearances. He was named the league's coach of the year and finished fourth in the voting for the 2019 Associated Press Men's College Coach of the Year. 

"We are thrilled to be able to announce a contract extension with our head men’s basketball coach Nate Oats," said Byrne. "We had great expectations when we hired Coach Oats. He has exceeded those expectations, and we want to ensure he is compensated among the top half of the SEC. We have put buyout measures in place that show the long-term commitment between both parties. Coach Oats and his staff have built a comprehensive program that has maximized our student-athlete’s experience, significantly increased interest in Alabama Basketball with future recruits and put forward a product that has excited our fan base."

“We are very proud of what our men’s basketball program has accomplished in just a short period of time under Coach Oats’ leadership,” said University of Alabama President Stuart R. Bell. “His emphasis on effort, continuous growth and selflessness has helped our student-athletes excel on the court, in the classroom and in the community. He has embraced the standard of excellence at The University of Alabama, and we are excited he will continue to lead our program for years to come." 

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While appropriate members of The Board of Trustees have been notified of the proposed terms and conditions of the proposed contract extension, the financial terms remain subject to approval by The Board of Trustees.