Saban's new deal approved by Bama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- If Alabama coach Nick Saban sticks around for another nine years, it will be worth $5 million to him and, the Crimson Tide hopes, a few more championships for the program.

The university system's Board of Trustees compensation committee unanimously approved the three-year extension through Jan. 31, 2018, on Wednesday that doesn't include a salary hike but rewards him for staying put and guarantees that he will remain among college football's five highest paid coaches.

"I'm very pleased and happy that the university offered us an extension. [My wife] Terry and I are both happy to be here," Saban said on Wednesday's weekly Southeastern Conference teleconference. "It expresses the university's commitment to us and our commitment to want to be here for a long time."

The trustees also approved a seven-year deal for new basketball coach Anthony Grant, who will make $1.8 million annually plus bonuses escalating to $250,000 for winning a national title.

Saban would receive a series of three completion bonuses totaling $5 million if he is still the coach through 2011, 2014 and 2017. That means the contract would be worth $42.35 million if he remains through the nine-year deal, or just over $4.7 million annually.

The contract guarantees Saban will be among the nation's five highest-paid football coaches or the three highest-paid in the Southeastern Conference, whichever is higher. His pay cannot fall below the average of those coaches.

Alabama hired Saban for an eight-year, $32 million deal that made him college football's highest paid coach at the time. He remains scheduled to make $4.2 million in his first deal's final three seasons and will still make that in the three added years.

The new deal includes a review "to determine marketplace trends regarding head football coach compensation" in the SEC and at NCAA Division I schools on Feb. 1, 2015, and each year after that.

Saban has quickly rebuilt the tradition-rich program, leading the Tide to a 12-0 regular season and No. 1 ranking in 2008, his second season. Alabama is currently ranked No. 4 and coming off a 34-24 win over No. 14 Virginia Tech.

Saban spent five seasons as head coach at both Michigan State and LSU before a two-year stint with the NFL's Miami Dolphins.

Former Alabama kicker Van Tiffin is hoping the extension means he'll finish his career with the Tide.

"I think Alabama fans are happy with him and wouldn't see why they wouldn't be," said Tiffin, whose son Leigh is the Tide's current kicker. "Any coach that can deliver the wins that he has is worth probably about whatever he wants.

"As a former player and fan, I hope he's committed to staying here and would like to see him stay as long as possible. I'd like to see him retire here."