Nick Saban agrees to stay at Alabama

Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. --  Alabama and Nick Saban have agreed to a long-term deal that will keep the four-time champion coach in Tuscaloosa, the school confirmed Friday night.

Saban's new deal was first reported by ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit.

Saban, who has recently been rumored as a candidate to replace Mack Brown at Texas, was already the highest paid coach in college football at $5.62 million per year after signing an extension in March that kept him under contract through 2020. 

Alabama didn't release terms of the new deal, which must be approved by the board of trustees. The Tuscaloosa News reported the new contract will raise Saban's salary to between $7 and $7.5 million per year and further extend the length of the deal.

"We are very pleased to have this agreement completed," Saban said in a statement. "(Wife) 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."

Bill Battle, who took over as Alabama's athletic director in March, called Saban "the best in the business" in a statement.

"This agreement is a strong indication of our mutual commitment to building on the foundation he has established," Battle said.

Saban's new deal represents the third time his contract has either been extended or altered while at Alabama. Each previous extension came following a national championship. The deal he originally signed upon leaving the Miami Dolphins was for eight years at $4 million per year and would have run out in 2014.

"The entire University of Alabama family is thrilled that Coach Nick Saban will continue to be the head coach of the Crimson Tide," school president Dr. Judy L. Bonner said. "We appreciate the commitment that he and Terry have to our players and their success on the field."

On multiple occasions, Saban has denied interest in the expected vacancy at Texas, repeatedly telling reporters he's happy with his life in Tuscaloosa and "too damn old" to go anywhere else.

"I'm not really at the stage of my career where I'm looking for some other big sort of challenge," Saban said in late October, though his attempt to quash the rumors of his departure ultimately proved unsuccessful. "We've got enough challenges right here to try to work with the players we recruited and try to continue to have a successful program for their personal, academic and athletic success."

The 62-year-old coach has spent seven seasons at Alabama, by far the longest tenure at any one place in his career. He lasted five seasons at LSU before moving on to the NFL with the Dolphins.

Since returning to the college game with the Tide, he's won three national championships and has put together a combined record of 79-14. On Jan. 2, Saban will lead Alabama against Oklahoma in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

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