Alabama approves coach contracts

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- In addition to the highest paid head coach in college football, Alabama now boasts the highest paid defensive coordinator.

The school's board of trustees approved the contracts of both head coach Nick Saban and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart on Tuesday afternoon, agreeing to pay them $5.62 million and $1.28 million per year, respectively.

Saban, who has guided Alabama to three national championships in the past four seasons, edges out Texas' Mack Brown as the sport's highest paid coach. Saban's contract, which he signed in March 2012, runs through Jan. 31, 2020.

The only change made to his contract on Tuesday was an added bonus to reflect the new BCS playoff format. He will make $200,000 if he reaches the semifinal game, $300,000 if he reaches the championship game and $400,000 if he wins the title.

Smart, 37, was granted a $200,000 raise to make him the highest paid defensive coordinator in the game, surpassing LSU's John Chavis, who will average $1.2 million over the next two years. Smart will make $1.35 million in 2014 and 2015. The Georgia alumnus has coached for eight seasons under Saban in college and the NFL and has been a hot commodity in the coaching market, most recently interviewing for the then-vacant head coaching position at Auburn.

Smart would owe the university $72,000 if he left for a job other than head coach with another team.

"Ultimately, my goal in my career is to be a head coach," Smart told reporters before the BCS National Championship Game in January. "Where that is, I have no idea. It's not like I wake up every day trying to leave Alabama. I have the best non-head coaching job in the country, period, because I've got a great administration. We've got a great facility. I want to be where I can win, and I know you can win at Alabama."

New athletic director Bill Battle's four-year deal worth $620,000 annually plus bonuses for academic and on-field achievements was also approved. He gets free use of a university plane for 25 hours each year.

The board also approved raises to offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier ($680,000 from $590,000), defensive line coach Chris Rumph ($360,000 from $310,000), linebackers coach Lance Thompson ($400,000 from $375,000), tight ends/special teams coach Bobby Williams ($400,000 from $350,000) and running backs coach Burton Burns ($315,000 from $290,000).

Additionally, two-year contracts of three new assistants were approved: Offensive line coach Mario Cristobal will make $475,000 in base salary while wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Billy Napier and defensive backs coach Greg Brown are set to make $300,000 each.

Strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran received a $25,000 raise, bringing his annual salary to $350,000.

New director of player personnel Kevin Steele's two-year contract was approved at $200,000 per year.

The assistants also receive memberships to North River Yacht Club under their deals and can collect postseason bonuses of up to 16 percent.

Trustees chairman Paul Bryant Jr. pointed out on the conference call that several Tide staffers have been Division I head coaches -- Cristobal at Florida International, Williams at Michigan State and Steele at Baylor.

"At least three of these assistant coaches that we're fortunate enough to have been very successful Division I head coaches as well," Bryant said. "I just thought I'd mention that."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.