Saban agrees to 'long-term agreement' to stay at Alabama (updated with comments)
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Dec 13, 2013 | 3832 views |  0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Nick Saban is wrapping up his seventh season as the Alabama's football. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Nick Saban is wrapping up his seventh season as the Alabama's football. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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The University of Alabama and football coach Nick Saban have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, according to a release on Twitter by the school.

“We are very pleased to have this agreement completed,” Saban said in a statement released by the school. “Terry and our family are very happy in Tuscaloosa. It has become home to us. This agreement allows us to continue to build on the tremendous success that we have enjoyed to this point -- successes that have transcended the football field. We are excited about the future and the University of Alabama is where I plan to end my coaching career.

“We are committed to continuing the work that we have been doing in the community as well as at the University. We are also excited about the opportunity awaiting us on Jan. 2 in the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the University of Oklahoma and hope to send this year’s tremendous senior class out in the proper way.”

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit reported the extension Friday night on Twitter. Shortly afterward, the Alabama athletic department’s official Twitter account confirmed the news, saying that Saban and the university have "concluded a long-term agreement" for him to stay.

"We are pleased to announce that head football coach Nick Saban has agreed to a new long-term agreement," Alabama athletics director Bill Battle said in a news release. "Coach Saban is the best in the business and has led our program to the pinnacle of college football. This agreement is a strong indication of our mutual commitment to building on the foundation he has established.”

Speculation about Saban's future at Alabama increased as rumors swirled concerning whether Texas would fire its coach, Mack Brown, and pursue Saban.

In addition to the news about Saban’s contract extension, Brown’s position appears more secure than it did earlier, as 247sports.com is reporting Brown met with school president Bill Powers and new athletics director Steve Patterson on Friday night and will return for his 17th season as coach of the Longhorns.

Saban is wrapping up his seventh season as Alabama's head coach. According to USA Today's salary database, he is the nation's highest-paid coach at $5,545,852, as Brown is second at $5,453,750.

In March of 2012, Saban agreed to a two-year extension of his deal with Alabama, which meant he was under contract through the 2019 season when he turns 68. That deal moved him past Brown as the nation's top-paid coach.

Saban's most recent agreement with the school is subject to approval by the Compensation Committee of the university's Board of Trustees.

“The entire University of Alabama family is thrilled that Coach Nick Saban will continue to be the head coach of the Crimson Tide,” Dr. Judy L. Bonner, the University of Alabama president, said in a release. “We appreciate the commitment that he and Terry have to our players and their success on the field, in the classroom and throughout their lives. Coach Saban's passion for excellence combined with his hard work and integrity are hallmarks of his teams, who are champions in every way.”

Added Dr. Robert E. Witt, Chancellor of the University of Alabama System, in a release: “The University of Alabama has finalized a contract agreement with the finest football coach in our country and this contract will keep Nick Saban at the University of Alabama for the remainder of his career.”

Saban and his wife, Terry, had said previously they want him to finish his coaching career at Alabama.

In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Terry Saban said, “We’re staying. We’re not going anywhere.”

On Thursday, Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron said he believed Saban was staying.

“He told me he wasn’t going anywhere and the man’s never lied to me in the five years I’ve been there,” McCarron said. “Like I’ve always said, he’s like a second dad to me. I don’t see why he would leave and why he’d lie to me.”
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