The Alabama Board of Trustees met in Birmingham on Friday morning to discuss Alabama basketball head coach Nate Oats’ contract and agreed on an extension and a raise.

Oats’ contract was extended through March 2029 and pays him $4.5 million in his first year with a $200,000 increase each following year, making his average pay over the lifespan of the contract come out to $5 million per year. With the pay increase, Oats is now among the top 10 highest-paid coaches in the country and fourth in the SEC behind John Calipari, Rick Barnes, and Bruce Pearl.

Soon after the Alabama Board of Trustees approved his new contract Friday, Nate Oats met with the media ahead of Saturday’s game against LSU and expressed his happiness about getting a new deal done.

“I didn’t want to leave here,” Oats said. “Lexie’s a freshman here. Jocie’s in eighth grade. Brielle’s in fifth grade. They’ve moved enough. We wanted to be here. Greg’s been a great boss to work for, unbelievable. Dr. Bell’s a great president to work for. The board’s been super supportive. We’ve wanted to stay here. We’re having a successful season. It’s great to have the players we have. The extension’s done. We’re not going anywhere, didn’t want to go anywhere. So that just puts to rest all those rumors. It helps in recruiting, helps bring some stability to the program, and we can get back to concentrating on basketball games and moving forward.”

Even though the new contract comes with a large monetary increase, it’s not all about the money for Nate Oats.

“I haven’t been one who is motivated by money," he emphasized. "If I was motivated by money, I would have quit coaching a long time ago when I was making $4,500 as the basketball coach at Romulus [High School], putting 40-50 hours outside of teaching to coach. I coach because I love coaching. I love working with the guys. It is nice to be compensated for it, finally. There’s a lot of high school coaches out there that put in the hours I put in that aren’t compensated for it like I am.”

Now that the extension is finished, Oats still has one more thing on his wish list — a new basketball arena.

“We’ve got to get the money raised, but fans have been super passionate about it," he outlined. "Look, I’ll say this — hopefully all the rest of our games are sold out the rest of the year. We’re getting great support in here. I’ve said it before. The arena’s a bigger deal for the fans, the donors, the people who watch the game than it is for the players and coaches that coach in it. We’ve obviously proven we can keep the program at a pretty high level here. But it 100% a priority for Greg, myself, the entire athletic department and the university as a whole. They’re working on getting it done, but it’s a process. They’re not putting shovel in the ground next week that I know of. So we’re going to keep working on it. I know Greg is working really hard on it.”

Nate Oats is currently in his fourth season at Alabama, leading his Crimson Tide to a 19-3 overall record and a 9-0 SEC record so far this season. Oats also has Alabama decisively in the conversation as a No. 1 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament in arguably the most successful season in Alabama basketball history.

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