Alabama’s Nick Saban will continue to be college football’s highest-paid coach for the foreseeable future.
The compensation committee of the Alabama board of trustees made sure of that Tuesday.
In a motion that passed unanimously, Saban now will receive $6.5 million annually with a $400,000 completion bonus for a $6.9 million package before the inclusion of performance bonuses. Saban made $5.5 million in 2013, when the Crimson Tide came up short in their historic bid for three consecutive national championships.
“He is the best coach in the country, and he’s brought Alabama back to the pinnacle of college football,” Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said in a released statement. “His success on the field is obviously second to none, but Coach Saban’s influence on academics and all the other areas of our athletic programs is equally impressive to me.”
Saban had his contract extended from 2020 to Jan. 31, 2022.
Also approved Tuesday was a three-year contract for new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, the former head coach of Tennessee and Southern California. Kiffin will receive $680,000 this year and again next year and get a bump to $714,000 in 2016.
Kiffin, whose $680,000 salary will match that of predecessor Doug Nussmeier, will have a membership to Tuscaloosa’s North River Yacht Club provided by the university.
Two other new assistants, linebackers coach Kevin Steele and defensive line coach Bo Davis, will receive $700,000 and $450,000, respectively. Several returning assistants received pay hikes, with offensive line coach Mario Cristobal experiencing the biggest jump from $425,000 to $500,000.
Saban has led the Crimson Tide to national championships in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and he joins Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy and Nebraska’s Tom Osborne as the only coaches since the introduction of the Associated Press poll in 1936 to guide a school to three titles in a four-year stretch. After a 7-6 debut in 2007 that ended in the Independence Bowl, Saban has assembled a 72-9 record.
“We are honored by the commitment the University of Alabama has made to us with this new contract.” Saban said in a released statement. “It is certainly a mutual agreement in terms of our commitment to the University of Alabama. We will continue to work hard to keep our football program among the nation’s elite.
“My passion has always been to develop young men to their full potential as student-athletes. We’ve had great success in that area at Alabama, and I’m appreciative of all the support and the resources we receive from the administration in order to make that happen.”
The 62-year-old Saban was mentioned as a candidate for the Texas job last December, which is when he agreed to new terms for a contract extension. The new deal includes a bump from $5 million to $6 million in life insurance coverage.