Alabama gives Saban 5 million reasons to stay
Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 7:00 pm
By JOHN ZENOR
AP Sports Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban said he received overtures for other jobs after claiming the second national title in three years. Instead of bolting, he has received a raise and contract extension worth $5.62 million a year that he said represents his intention to finish his career in Tuscaloosa.
“From my standpoint, the acceptance of this extension represents our commitment … to the University of Alabama for the rest of our career,” Saban said. “We made that decision after the season when other people were interested.”
The university’s board of trustees approved a two-year extension for Saban on Monday that will run through Jan. 31, 2020. He’ll receive $5.32 million in 2012 with a $50,000 raise next year and $100,000 annually after that.
Under the deal, he’ll make $5.97 million in 2019.
Saban will make nearly $45 million over eight years in base salary ($245,000) and what Alabama calls “talent fees.” The contract represents a $500,000 raise in talent fees plus longevity pay and the built-in raises.
The former Miami Dolphins coach declined to say who made the overtures.
“It doesn’t really matter,” Saban said. “We wanted to stay at Alabama. We’re staying at Alabama and we’re not interested in going anyplace else. We weren’t interested in going anyplace else at the end of the season, so it really doesn’t matter.”
Saban remains among college football’s highest paid coaches, along with Mack Brown of Texas ($5.2 million) and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops ($4.875 million), dwarfing the eye-catching eight-year, $32 million deal he received after leaving the Miami Dolphins.
He made at least $5.170 million last year in salary, talent fee and bonuses, including $400,000 for winning the national title. The new deal represents a $500,000 raise to his talent fee, plus longevity pay, which totals $5 million over the duration, and a $5 million life insurance policy.
The Tide is 48-6 over the past four seasons. Saban has restored the program to the point that a 10-3 title follow-up in 2010 was viewed as a big disappointment. He has had Alabama at its best in the biggest games, particularly the powerhouse defense.
The Tide claimed the 2009 title with a 37-21 win over Texas and blanked LSU 21-0 in New Orleans for the national championship two years later. Before his arrival, Alabama hadn’t won a national title since the 1992 season.
The deal states that if he’s fired without cause he gets the lesser amount between four years of pay or the balance of his contract. Saban said he “really wasn’t involved in the negotiations.”
His coaching staff was rewarded, too.
The trustees’ compensation committee also approved a $100,000 raise for defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, up to $950,000. New offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will make $590,000. Both have three-year deals.
Smart is the only assistant coach who doesn’t owe a 20 percent buyout if he leaves early, but will owe $72,000 if he leaves for any position other than head coach. He also got a $100,000 raise in January 2011.
New outside linebackers coach Lance Thompson will make $355,000 in a two-year deal.
Published in The Messenger 3.27.12