Nate Oats recommits to Alabama as Kentucky rumors swirl

Nate Oats wanted Alabama fans to know that he has no plans of going anywhere. 

The Alabama coach’s name had been floated as one of the potential successors to John Calipari at Kentucky after it was reported late Sunday night that the Wildcats coach was finalizing a five-year deal to take over at Arkansas

However, Oats ended speculation in a statement Monday, telling fans that he was “fully committed to this team and to this University.”


Nate Oats led Alabama to the Final Four this season.
Nate Oats led Alabama to the Final Four this season. USA TODAY Sports

“We have already accomplished some great things here, and there is nothing I want more than for the University of Alabama to win its first national championship in men’s basketball,” Oats said in the statement. “Despite any rumors to the contrary, rest assured that I will continue that pursuit as your head coach.” 

While rumors persisted about Oats and Kentucky on Monday, the $18 million buyout attached to the Alabama coach’s could have complicated a pursuit for him.

Still, it didn’t seem like it was as dissuasive and the commitment to Alabama may not have been as strong as Oats insisted it was. 

Oats did have “serious interest” in the Wildcats coaching vacancy before Alabama boosters “stepped up in a big way to make sure he need not look elsewhere,” The Athletic reported. 


John Calipari is reportedly finalizing a five-year deal with Arkansas.
John Calipari is reportedly finalizing a five-year deal with Arkansas. Getty Images

Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne also reaffirmed the program’s commitment to Oats in a statement while pushing the university’s NIL entity, “Yea Alabama.”

Oats has become one the sport’s rising coaches after a stellar first five years in Tuscaloosa. 

He has led Alabama to a 117-54 record while leading them to two SEC championships, four NCAA Tournament appearances and, this year, helped them reach the Final Four for the first time in program history.


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