published Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Alabama's Saban reportedly to surpass $7 million threshold

Alabama head coach Nick Saban leads his team on to the field in this Oct. 26, 2013, file photo.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban leads his team on to the field in this Oct. 26, 2013, file photo.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Lee Majors became the "Six Million Dollar Man" when the actor portrayed the bionic Steve Austin in the popular 1970s television show on ABC.

College football appears to have its first "Seven Million Dollar Man."

Alabama coach Nick Saban has agreed to a new long-term contract with the Crimson Tide that will result in an annual salary between $7 and $7.5 million, according to the Tuscaloosa News. The university announced the contract agreement late Friday night but had not released any specifics as of Saturday night.

Saban and his wife, Terry, along with Crimson Tide senior quarterback AJ McCarron have expressed in recent days and weeks that there would be no moving for the 62-year-old who has won three BCS championships at Alabama after winning one a decade ago at LSU.

"We are very pleased to have this agreement completed," Saban said in a released statement. "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 we hope to send this year's tremendous senior class out in the proper way."

Saban went 7-6 in 2007, his first season at Alabama following a two-year stint with the Miami Dolphins, but has since reeled off a 72-8 record that includes national titles in 2009, 2011 and last year. He was bidding to become the first coach to win three straight national championships and four in a five-year stretch, but those hopes were derailed Nov. 30 in a 34-28 loss at rival Auburn.

This marks his first contract adjustment since March 2012, when he signed an agreement through January of 2020 that would have paid him in average of $5.62 million annually over the life of the pact.

"Coach Saban is the best in the business and has led our program to the pinnacle of college football," Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said. "This agreement is a strong indication of our mutual commitment to building on the foundation he has established."

The contract agreement is subject to approval by the Compensation Committee of the University of Alabama system's board of trustees.

Saban's original contract was for eight years at an average of $4 million annually, which was set to run through the 2014 season. His name has been linked in the last few years to several destinations, both in the NFL and college, with the latest being at the University of Texas.

"I never considered going to Texas," Saban told ESPN. "That wasn't even a conversation. I knew that if [Texas coach] Mack [Brown] stepped down there would probably be an opportunity, but it wasn't something I was interested in doing, not at this stage of my career."

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-8757-6524.

about David Paschall...

David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...

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