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.”
”To me, this all happened a long time ago right after the (LSU) game,” said Saban, whose agent is Jimmy Sexton. ”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.”
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. The assistant coaches will receive 4 percent bonuses for an appearance in the SEC championship game, 8 percent for a bowl game, 12 percent for one of the SEC’s top 5 bowl tie-ins and 16 percent for a BCS game.
”There’s a very competitive market out there when it comes to assistant coaches,” Saban said. ”I think it’s imperative that we keep continuity and that we had the opportunity to be competitive salary-wise with other schools who are trying to hire our coaches.
”It doesn’t really matter what my opinion is or anyone else’s opinion. The market is what it is, and if we’re not willing to pay that to the best people that we have, they’re not going to be here.”
Most of the other assistant coaches got raises and one-year extensions through Feb. 28, 2014:
Bobby Williams, who coaches tight ends and special teams, received a $35,000 raise, to $350,000.
Strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran got a raise from $310,000 to $325,000.
Defensive line coach Chris Rumph goes from $288,750 to $310,000.
Running backs coach Burton Burns got a $10,000 hike, up to $290,000.
Receivers coach Mike Groh’s pay went up from $250,000 to $280,000.
Secondary coach Jeremy Pruitt is now making $260,000, up from $225,000.
Offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland was the only on-the-field assistant to not get a raise. Saban said that was related to his alleged involvement in rules violations while with the University of Miami.
Saban has said the university uncovered no compliance ”red flags” on either Stoutland or director of football operations Joe Pannunzio from their tenures at Miami. Both former Hurricanes coaches were named in a report alleging that they steered recruits to a jailed booster who says he supplied Miami players with prostitutes, cars and other gifts over the past decade.
”As a university, we make decisions to do things because we think it’s the right thing to do,” Saban said. ”In the future, I think Jeff Stoutland deserves to get a raise based on the merit of the work that he’s done here, but I also think that it wouldn’t be smart on our part of ignore other things that have happened.”