Alabama basketball hires Buffalo's Nate Oats to be its next coach

Nate Oats has gone from being a high school coach to landing one of the premier jobs in the SEC in six years' time.

The University of Alabama announced Wednesday afternoon that it hired Oats away from Buffalo, signing him to a contract, the terms of which have not yet been disclosed. 

"We are thrilled to welcome Nate and Crystal Oats and their three daughters to the University of Alabama," said Alabama AD Greg Byrne said. "I have been watching Coach Oats for the last few years as he has led the University at Buffalo to unprecedented heights. His commitment to developing the student-athlete both on and off the court was what really stuck out. As we spoke to some of the best college and pro basketball minds in the country, his name came up time and time again. Coach Oats will hit the ground running starting tonight, and we look forward to him having a long and successful career with the Alabama Crimson Tide." 

The school, and Byrne, scooped the college hoops world by dropping the news on social media. 

Oats went 96-43 at Buffalo in the past four seasons, taking the Bulls to three NCAA Tournaments and winning two games in the Dance in the past two seasons. Buffalo was also ranked in the AP Top 25 poll almost the entire 2018-19 season, which was the best in program history.

Buffalo fell on Sunday in the second round to Texas Tech, finishing at 32-4.

Oats' name was a hot one on the rumor mill up until March 14, when he signed an extension at UB. That merely upped his buyout, which Alabama is more than happy to pay. The Crimson Tide are in the midst of a lot of roster turnover -- many players are transferring -- and so Oats will have a serious rebuild. 

In hiring Oats, Alabama is hoping to make consecutive, year-over-year trips to the NCAA Tournament an annual thing. The last time that happened for the Tide was 2006. 

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his ninth season reporting on college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics... Full Bio

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