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December 13, 2013

Saban, Alabama reach long-term agreement

MERIDIAN — Alabama coach Nick Saban is staying put.

    The university announced on its Twitter account Friday night that the football coach has reached "a long-term agreement" to remain with the Crimson Tide.

    Alabama didn't release terms of the new deal, which must be approved by the board of trustees.

    Saban received an eight-year deal in March 2012 worth about $5.6 million annually and seems likely to remain college football's highest-paid coach.

    The agreement quells speculation that Saban would take over at Texas if Mack Brown steps down. Saban, who turned 62 on Oct. 31, has led the Tide to three national championships in the past four years with no signs of fading from annual contention.

    The third-ranked Tide was on the verge of another Southeastern Conference, and perhaps national title, before losing 34-28 to No. 2 Auburn in the regular-season finale on a last-play 109-yard return of a missed field goal.

    Alabama will play Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 in New Orleans.

    Saban has said multiple times that he's too old "to go someplace else and start over."

    "I'm very committed to the University of Alabama, love being here," he said in November. "We've talked about it before. Don't need to talk about it again. "

    But that didn't stop the speculation and rumors that he was bound for Texas amid reports that Brown was on his way out.

    Brown didn't address his future at Texas at Friday night's annual team banquet, while acknowledging "distractions" for his team. The Longhorns (8-4) will face Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.

    Saban is 74-14 in seven seasons at Alabama, with at least 11 wins in five of the last six years and a string of top-rated recruiting classes. The Tide was trying to become the first team to win three straight national titles since the 1930s.

    Saban has been mentioned as a candidate for various openings in the NFL and college during his tenure.

 

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