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FILE - In this Feb. 5, 2014 file photo, Alabama college football coach Nick Saban discusses the signing day successes of 2014, at the Mal Moore Athletic Facility in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Saban's new contract _ expected to be in the $7 million range _ is set to be formally considered by the board of trustees. The trustees will also vote on deals for 10 of his assistants, including new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin. (AP Photo/The Birmingham News, Vasha Hunt, File)
Sports briefs: Saban’s new deal worth nearly $7 million a year

First Published Jun 03 2014 07:34 pm • Last Updated Jun 03 2014 09:47 pm

COLLEGE FOOTBALL • Alabama coach Nick Saban is a mere bonus or two from knocking down another salary barrier and becoming the $7 million man.

A unanimous vote by the Alabama system trustees’ compensation committee Tuesday made Saban’s new 8-year, $55.2 million deal official nearly six months after the university announced the agreement.

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The 62-year-old Saban will make $6.5 million in base pay and what the university describes as a "talent fee" plus a $400,000 completion bonus for each year and other incentives.

It’s a seven-figure raise over the eight-year contract worth about $5.6 million annually he received in March 2012. New offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin will make $2.074 million over three years.

Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said that Saban, often rumored for other college and NFL jobs, will "be our head football coach for many years to come."

"He is the best coach in the country and he’s brought Alabama back to the pinnacle of college football," Battle said in a statement released by the university. "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 are equally impressive to me."

Saban won’t owe a buyout if he leaves for another head coaching job. His life insurance policy was upped from $5 million to $6 million and a $100,000 contribution will be made to his scholarship fund.

Saban is one of four coaches in The Associated Press poll era to win four national titles, joining Alabama’s Bear Bryant, Southern California’s John McKay and Notre Dame’s Frank Leahy.

"We are honored by the commitment the University of Alabama has made to us with this new contract," Saban said in the prepared news release. "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."


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Saban has led the Crimson Tide to three national championships and an average of 12 wins over the last six seasons. He’ll make $400,000 if Alabama wins another national title with other bonuses including $125,000 for winning a Southeastern Conference championship and escalating payouts ranging from $65,000 to $125,000 depending on what bowl game the Tide makes.

He’ll get $100,000 if Alabama football players’ graduation rate ranks in the top 25 percent among SEC programs. Alabama’s 28 graduates going into the Sugar Bowl led the nation.

Trustees also approved details on the contract for Kiffin. The former Tennessee and Southern California coach will make $680,000 salaries each of the next two years and $714,000 in the final year ending Feb. 28, 2017.

Other coaches got raises while defensive coordinator Kirby Smart had his deal extended one year through Feb. 28, 2017. Smart will make $1.385 million each of the next three years.

The non-coordinators all have two-year deals. All the coaches receive memberships to the North River Yacht Club plus performance bonuses that could rise to 18 percent of their salary with a national title.

New linebackers coach Kevin Steele will be the second-highest paid assistant, making $700,000 a year. Also a special assistant to the head coach, he is moving from a support staff role.

New defensive line coach Bo Davis will make a $450,000 salary. Receivers coach Billy Napier received a one-year extension but his $325,000 salary remains unchanged.

Other coaches with old and new salary:

—Burton Burns, associate head coach/running backs, goes from $400,000 to $428,000.

—Mario Cristobal, offensive line, $475,000 to $500,000.

—Lance Thompson, outside linebackers, $400,000 to $428,000.

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