It doesn't get much sweeter than Saban's new deal

September, 9, 2009
9/09/09
1:20
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low


Nick Saban has pledged his commitment to Alabama for the remainder of his coaching career.

He says there are no other horizons for him.

And given what he stands to make financially if he stays for the life of his new contract, there probably shouldn’t be.

Saban’s new deal was approved by the Alabama Board of Trustees on Wednesday and includes an additional $5 million of guaranteed income if he’s still the Crimson Tide’s coach through the 2017 season.

So over the life of this new deal, Saban’s salary will average at least $4.7 million, which includes three different longevity bonuses. He will pocket an additional $1.6 million in January 2012, an additional $1.7 million in January 2015 and an additional $1.7 million in January 2018.

All told, the new nine-year deal is worth $42.3 million, which makes Saban the highest-paid coach in college football when you take into account his entire contract.

This season, Saban will make $3.9 million, which is second in the SEC to Florida’s Urban Meyer. Last month, Meyer agreed to a six-year, $24 million contract and will make $4 million per year. Saban was already scheduled to go to $4.1 million in 2010 under the terms of his old contract, $4.15 million in 2011 and $4.2 million in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

His yearly salary will remain $4.2 in 2015, 2016 and 2017, but that's just a starting point. One of the intriguing things about this new deal, which was negotiated by Saban's agent Jimmy Sexton, is that it has escalators built into it that will protect him as the market goes up.

In other words, if coaching salaries around the country skyrocket by the time Saban gets to those last three years of this contract, then he’s going to benefit substantially.

According to language in the contract, the two sides will meet in February 2015. At that time, if Saban is making less than the total guaranteed annual compensation of the three highest-paid SEC football coaches or less than that of the average of the five highest-paid NCAA coaches, then Alabama will increase his guaranteed annual compensation to the higher of the two averages.

Talk about a sweet deal.

Where else are you going to go where the commitment and passion for college football are what they are at Alabama and where they’re going to pay you this much money over the long haul?

The answer: Nowhere.

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