TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WCBI/AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban is staying put.
The university announced on its Twitter account Friday night that the football coach has reached “a long-term agreement” to remain with the Crimson Tide.
Alabama didn’t release terms of the new deal, which must be approved by the board of trustees.
Saban received an eight-year deal in March 2012 worth about $5.6 million annually and seems likely to remain college football’s highest-paid coach.
The agreement quells speculation that Saban would take over at Texas if Mack Brown steps down. Saban, who turned 62 on Oct. 31, has led the Tide to three national championships in the past four years with no signs of fading from annual contention.
The third-ranked Tide was on the verge of another Southeastern Conference, and perhaps national title, before losing 34-28 to No. 2 Auburn in the regular-season finale on a last-play 109-yard return of a missed field goal.
Alabama will play Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 in New Orleans.
Saban has said multiple times that he’s too old “to go someplace else and start over.”
“I’m very committed to the University of Alabama, love being here,” he said in November. “We’ve talked about it before. Don’t need to talk about it again. ”
But that didn’t stop the speculation and rumors that he was bound for Texas amid reports that Brown was on his way out.
Brown didn’t address his future at Texas at Friday night’s annual team banquet, while acknowledging “distractions” for his team. The Longhorns (8-4) will face Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 30.
Brown met with school President Bill Powers and athletic director Steve Patterson before the banquet. Patterson declined to say what was discussed or if any conclusion had been reached.
Saban is 74-14 in seven seasons at Alabama, with at least 11 wins in five of the last six years and a string of top-rated recruiting classes. The Tide was trying to become the first team to win three straight national titles since the 1930s.
Saban has been mentioned as a candidate for various openings in the NFL and college during his tenure.
That’s no surprise given his track record in the college ranks. Saban is the only coach to win four BCS national titles, including the 2003 championship at LSU. He returned to the SEC after going 15-17 in two seasons with the Miami Dolphins.
At Texas, several university regents and a former regent were involved in a meeting with Saban’s agent last January to gauge the coach’s interest in coming to Texas.
According to an email detailing that phone meeting and obtained by The Associated Press, Saban’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, told Texas representatives that Texas was the only job Saban would leave Alabama for, and that Saban was under “special pressure” at his current job.