Alabama hires Nate Oats as new head coach | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Tuesday / October 22.
  • Alabama hires Nate Oats as new head coach

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Alabama named Nate Oats its new head coach on Tuesday.

    Oats, 44, went 97-43 in four seasons at Buffalo, making three NCAA Tournaments.

    This year he led the Bulls to a 32-4 record, winning the MAC regular-season and tournament titles. They beat Arizona State before losing to Texas Tech in the second round.

    On March 14, 2019 Oats signed a contract extension with Buffalo to remain the head coach through the 2024 season.

    Meantime, Alabama officials have let in-state star Trendon Watford, a three-time state champion, know that he’s a priority recruit for the school.

    “They just fired their coach, Avery Johnson was the first coach to ever offer me,” said Watford, who’s also considering LSU, Indiana, Memphis and Duke and plans to announce April 20 at the Jordan Brand Classic Game in Las Vegas. “I feel like the program has good guys coming back, so we’ll just see how that turns out with the next head coach.”

    In the meantime, Watford said Alabama officials are making him a priority.

    “They’ve reached out,” he said. “I don’t know who the next head coach will be, but the players are still reaching out to me, saying they want me to be their teammate.”

    He added: “If they hire somebody in the next few weeks or next week and they start recruiting me, then we’ll just go from there.”

    Photo: Getty Images

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.