Tide bumps Shula's pay to $1.8M under 6-year deal

Alabama has rewarded Coach Mike Shula with a new six-year contract worth an average of $1.8 million a year, a source familiar with the agreement told ESPN's Joe Schad on Friday.

Shula had five years remaining on his previous contract, which was due to pay about $900,000 per year. Shula's annual salary will put him in the top half of SEC head football coaches.

Alabama has improved from 4-9 to 6-6 and to 10-2 last season with a Cotton Bowl victory under Shula, who received a contract extension through 2010 last June, though his salary at that time remained the same.

The university is expected to soon announce the agreement. Shula's representatives, Mark Rodgers and Russ Campbell, said Friday that they could not confirm that negotiations were complete, only that they were ongoing and progressing well.

Alabama opens spring football practice today in Tuscaloosa.