Alabama is rarely in the one-seed conversation at any point in a college basketball season, let alone a couple of weeks before Selection Sunday. Alas, Greg Byrne hit a grand slam with the first major hire of his tenure, bringing in Nate Oats, a relatively under the radar name who last coached the Buffalo Bulls.
Nate immediately changed the culture around the program, and in return Alabama has offered him and his family some financial security.
Nate’s annual salary will be a cool $3.225 million, which is still a value as it places him just inside the top 20. If he continues this pace, he will almost certainly get another major bump well before the end of the deal. Best of all, he has shown his commitment to the school as well.
Greg Byrne statement on Nate Oats extension: pic.twitter.com/ku4KmGpHu9— William Galloway (@Wm_Galloway) February 18, 2021
It sounds like there will be a heavy buyout to pay should a basketball blueblood come calling at some point.
This is a major step for the basketball program to be sure, but fans are still clamoring for the required facility upgrades, new arena included, to be competitive for the long haul. Those conversations will undoubtedly continue, but in the meantime locking up Coach Oats is something to celebrate.