The University of Alabama and Nate Oats have agreed to a contract extension. The deal will last through the end of the 2026-27 season, and his salary will increase to $3.225 million per year.
Alabama, Nate Oats Agree to Extension
Nate Oats has found a home in Tuscaloosa and will be staying put for a while. The Alabama men’s head basketball coach was rewarded with a contract extension and pay raise yesterday. Oats came to Alabama last season on a three-year deal, and because of the Crimson Tide’s exceptional play this season, he earned another three years.
Alabama Director of Athletics, Greg Byrne, said of the deal, “We had great expectations when we hired Coach Oats. He has exceeded those expectations.”
Stuart R. Bell, the university’s president, added, “We are very proud of what our men’s basketball program has accomplished in just a short period of time under Coach Oats’ leadership. His emphasis on effort, continuous growth, and selflessness has helped our student-athletes excel on the court, in the classroom, and in the community.”
The Crimson Tide are certainly excelling.
Alabama Looking at SEC Title
Alabama is currently 17-5 overall and 12-1 in Southeastern Conference play. The Tide sit at No. 8 in the AP Top 25 poll, which is their highest ranking since 2006-07. Also, Alabama is on pace for a high-seed in the NCAA Tournament. The latest projections have the Tide as a No. 2 seed.
Oats said of his team’s play, “We feel like we have a lot of positive momentum going with our team and have the program headed in the right direction.”
Alabama has four remaining conference games on their schedule and can clinch the SEC regular-season title. If the Tide were to maintain their solid play, they could claim said title for the first time in 20 years. Alabama can clinch on Saturday with a win and losses by Arkansas and LSU, but their best chance may come Wednesday. The Tide travel to Fayetteville to face the second-place Razorbacks. Arkansas is 3.5 games behind Alabama in the SEC standings.
“We’re not going to talk about it until it’s done and over,” Oats told AL.com. “Then we’ll congratulate them and get ready to play the next game.”
All signs point to a Tide title. Alabama leads the SEC in rebounds per game (40.4) and total three-pointers made (240) and three-point percentage (36.6%). They rank third in points per game (80.8) and second in scoring (1778).
This is due to Oats’ high-octane offense. His players love to run, they love to shoot, and they may cause some difficult matchups for opponents in the NCAA Tournament. Led by senior John Petty Jr. and sophomore Jaden Shackelford, the guard play for Alabama is outstanding. Adding the great defensive prowess of senior forward Herbert Jones, the Tide are set to make a deep run.
Who Is Nate Oats?
Many know the coach as the man who earlier challenged Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s comments about pausing the season. However, there is more to Nate Oats.
Oats began his career on the coaching staff at his old high school, Maranatha Baptist, in Watertown, Wisconsin. After spending two seasons as an assistant at Division-III’s University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Oats returned to the high school circuit. He was the head basketball coach and math teacher at Romulus High School outside of Detroit.
Oats became an assistant at the University of Buffalo 11 years later. In 2015, he became the head coach of the Bulls and went 96-43 at the helm. Oats led Buffalo to three Mid-American Conference Tournament Championships, as well as three NCAA Tournament appearances.
Alabama then came calling in 2019, and after just two seasons, he has the Tide rolling. He earned this extension, and Alabama knows something about good coaching.
Oats told the press, “We are excited to agree to a contract extension with the University of Alabama. Crystal and our daughters love it here, and we are committed to The University of Alabama.”
Alabama is committed to proving they are a basketball school as well.
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