Greg Byrne announced Wednesday afternoon on Twitter that the University of Alabama has hired former Buffalo Bulls head coach Nate Oats to take over the basketball program.
Early Wednesday afternoon Twitter began circulating rumors and reports surfaced that the next head coach would be announced sooner rather than later. Many believed Thad Matta would be the hire, but to Greg Byrne’s credit, he kept his promise that the next head coach’s name would not be leaked in the media until all decisions had been made final.
Oats comes to Alabama from Buffalo where he led the Bulls to a 96-43 record, leading the program to three NCAA tournaments in four seasons, including two trips to the second round. He also won a pair of MAC Coach of the Year trophies in the last two seasons with the program.
Early in the process, prior to the buyout with Avery Johnson, Nate Oats had been identified as a potential candidate but faded from the headlines after signing an extension through 2024, with a base salary of $837,000 at Buffalo.
At Buffalo, Oats utilized the transfer market, bringing in prominent contributors Jeremy Harris, Nick Perkins and Wes Clark who have contributed to Buffalo’s success. Transfers will be important in Oats’ first season as he looks to bring back John Petty and Kira Lewis Jr. who have entered the transfer portal and replace the production of Dazon Ingram.
One early win for Nate Oats were the comments of top 100 recruit Jaylen Forbes, who said that he is excited to begin working with the new coach. With the number of current players considering a departure, confirming the commitment of recruits will be important for the upcoming season.
Byrne and Oats arrived in Tuscaloosa by jet just hours after the hiring, hundreds of Crimson Tide fans gathered on the tarmac to welcome in a new era of Alabama basketball. Oats will host his first press conference tomorrow and WVUA FM will have coverage from the event.
(Photo Courtesy RollTide.com)