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Saban Gets Extension; Assistants’ Deals Announced

Coaches winning two national titles in the span of three years, can expect to be rewarded.  For Nick Saban and his two-time title-winning assistants at Alabama, the rewards are pretty darn large.

The University of Alabama approved today a two-year extension for Saban that will stretch his contract through the year 2020.  His deal will be for $5.3 million this season and will continue to escalate upward towards the $6 million mark over the life of the deal.  His raise for this year is for more than $500,000.

Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is also getting a bump from $850,000 to $950,000.  New offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier will reportedly earn $590,000 this year.

Other assistants received raises in the $10,000 to $35,000 range.  Poor guys.

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SEC Headlines – 1/19/12 Part One

1.  Alabama made the hires of Doug Nussmeier and Lance Thompson official yesterday. 

2.  Anthony Grant’s taking a page from Nick Saban’s book in Tuscaloosa.

3.  Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the “hustlers” on Auburn’s basketball team.  (Speaking of hustlers, remember this flick?  Any movie with a Billy Preston theme is A-OK with this writer.)

4.  Arkansas’ assistant football coaches are set to get nice raises after back-to-back double-digit win seasons.

5.  St. John’s Nurideen Lindsey will transfer to Rider, not to Mike Anderson’s program as was reported last week.

6.  Trent Johnson’s LSU hoops team is set to face Florida, Mississippi State and Kentucky over an eight-day span.  Ouch.

7.  Ole Miss’ upset of Mississippi State in Oxford last night could be big for the team’s confidence (and even bigger for their coach’s job security).

8.  Andy Kennedy didn’t put freshman Jarvis Summers on MSU point guard Dee Bost… instead he used 6-10 Terrance Henry on the Bulldogs’ star.

9.  Renardo Sidney had a nice night on the offensive end, but his defense is being questioned this morning.

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Reports: Nussmeier Hired As OC By Bama

It’s not official yet, but multiple reports are claiming that University of Washington offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier has been hired to fill the same spot at Alabama. 

Prior to his stop in Washington, Nussmeier has served as a quarterbacks coach in the NFL (St. Louis Rams) and in the Big Ten (Michigan State).

Ironically, Nussmeier replaced Jim McElwain at Fresno State when Saban tabbed McElwain to run the Tide offense in 2008.  Now he’ll replace McElwain as the ex-Bama coordinator takes over as head coach at Colorado State.

Many view the Washington offense as being the baby of head coach Steve Sarkisian, rather than of Nussmeier.  Of course, some look at Bama’s defense as being Nick Saban’s rather than Kirby Smart’s.  Bottom line — Nussmeier and Sarkisian had the Huskies offense ranked 25th in the nation in scoring offense this past season.

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SEC Headlines – 1/16/12 Part One

1.  The SEC has named its Players of the Week.

2.  As we noted earlier today, Lance Thompson — the man who recruited Trent Richardson to Alabama — is returning to Tuscaloosa as linebackers coach.

3.  Doug Nussmeier continues to be mentioned as the frontrunner for Bama’s offensive coordinator gig.

4.  Bobby Petrino’s got nice things to say — naturally — about Arkansas’ new linebackers coach Taver Johnson.

5.  Petrino has also given his blessing to backup quarterback Brandon Mitchell, who intends to walk-on with the Hog basketball team.

6.  After “an amazing season,” LSU will look for even bigger, even better things next fall.

7.  But folks on the Bayou aren’t quite done dissecting what went wrong in the Tigers’ 21-0 loss to Alabama a week ago.

7.  Mississippi State’s ongoing billboard campaign — including one smack dab in Oxford — is causing a stir in the Magnolia State.

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Sunseri Leaves Bama To Join UT Staff

In 2009, it looked like the Tennessee football program would become Southern Cal East.  Now it appears the whole UT athletic department is becoming Alabama North.

Alabama linebackers coach and assistant head coach Sal Sunseri has officially joined the Tennessee staff as defensive coordinator.  The coach landed a three-year deal in Knoxville worth $800,000 per season.

“Sal has had unparalleled success over the last decade in not only contributing to team and unit success, but also in his ability to motivate and develop elite individual talent,” Derek Dooley said via press release.  “His combination of defensive knowledge, recruiting success, high-energy personality, ability to connect with players and personal integrity and character make him an exceptional fit for Tennessee.”

Sunseri — as well as defensive line coach Lance Thompson — coached under Nick Saban at Alabama.  Dooley coached under Saban at LSU and with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.  The Tennessee athletic department is headed up by former Tide associate AD Dave Hart and a number of his former UA aides.  If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

For Dooley, Sunseri is a quality hire.  And a much needed one considering the turnover on his staff in recent weeks.  The fact that the Vols’ new defensive coordinator just won a BCS title with Bama on Monday can’t hurt on a big recruiting weekend.

Now the question is — does Thompson stay or does he bolt for South Carolina?  His name has come up in connection with the Gamecocks’ linebackers vacancy.

Sunseri’s departure from Tuscaloosa leaves Saban with two holes to fill on his staff: offensive coordinator and linebackers.  Brian Schottenheimer, Doug Nussmeier and Dirk Koetter are in the running for the OC job.

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