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March 26, 2012

New deal for Saban, assistants

NEWS: Tide lands commit No. 9 | Highlight Reel

TUSCALOOSA | University of Alabama coach Nick Saban's contract was extended by two years Monday through the 2019 football season by the Compensation Committee of the University of Alabama Board of Trustees, along with contract amendments for most of his assistants. The unanimously approved measures set Saban's total compensation, not including various bonuses or outside income, at more than $5.3 million for 2012. The final year of the contract will pay Saban just more than $5.96 million in the final year of the contract in 2019. Incremental annual increases in Saban's pay average $5.62 million per year over the full term.

"From my standpoint, the acceptance of this extension represents our commitment, my commitment, our family's 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."

Saban declined to identify which other colleges or teams showed interest in hiring him. He indicated the new terms were agreed upon informally not long after Alabama defeated LSU 21-0 in the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans on Jan. 9.

"I really think they sort of decide what they want to do and you decide if it's good enough, and it's certainly good enough for me," Saban said.

Saban won the third national championship of his career and his second in five years at Alabama with the win over the Tigers, marking the program's 14th national championship. Saban's UA teams are 48-6 over the past four seasons, and 55-12 in his Alabama coaching career.

The total value of Saban's new contract over the next eight seasons is $44,983,333.36. Almost all of that is paid as a talent fee, while Saban's base salary in each year of the deal is $245,000.

The contract ensures that Saban will remain among the best-paid head coaches in the college game. According to the USA Today online database for head coaching salaries, Saban is among the top five along with Texas coach Mack Brown ($5.19 million), Oklahoma's Bob Stoops at $4.07 million, LSU coach Les Miles at $3.85 million and Iowa's Kirk Ferentz at $3.78 million.

Saban's previous contract extension in 2009 carried the Crimson Tide coach through the 2017 season. Three years later, the latest extension added two more seasons for the 60-year-old coach.

"It put a smile on everybody's face, knowing they'll have a great coach for as long as he's here," said wide receiver Kenny Bell. "It's a good thing."

Also receiving amended contracts were assistant coaches Burton Burns, Kirby Smart, Mike Groh, Jeremy Pruitt, Chris Rumph, Bobby Williams and strength coach Scott Cochran. Initial contracts for two new assistants, offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and linebackers coach Lance Thompson, were approved as well. Smart's contract was extended another year with a pay increase from $850,000 to $950,000 as UA's defensive coordinator, while Nussmeier's initial contract makes him the team's second-highest paid assistant at $590,000.

Nussmeier's contract is for three years.

Raises for other assistants included running backs coach Burns (from $280,000 to $290,000), strength coach Cochran (from $310,000 to $325,000), wide receivers coach Groh (from $250,000 to $285,000), defensive backs coach Pruitt (from $225,000 to $260,000), defensive line coach Rumph (from $288,750 to $310,000) and tight ends/special teams coach Williams (from $315,000 to $350,000). Thompson's initial contract is for $375,000.

Click here for a full PDF of the contract extensions for Nick Saban and the Alabama assistant coaches

Reach Chase Goodbread at chase@tidesports.com or at 205-722-0196.


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