Saban, Alabama reach long-term agreement

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Updated: 12/13/2013 10:39 pm

Tuscaloosa, AL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Saban, who led Alabama to three national titles in four years but was rumored to perhaps be looking elsewhere, will continue to coach the Crimson Tide.

Alabama said Friday it reached a long-term agreement with Saban, ending the recent speculation he would leave to coach another team, potentially Texas.

Details of the new deal, which has to be approved by the board of trustees, were not immediately available. Alabama signed Saban to a contract extension in March of 2012 that was to run through 2020.

"Alabama is where I plan to end my coaching career," Saban said in a statement.

The Crimson Tide are 79-14 since Saban was hired as coach in 2007. He led them to FBS titles following the 2009, 2011 and 2012 seasons.

Still, whispers grew that he might leave to coach the Longhorns if Mack Brown and Texas parted ways. Brown, who has coach Texas since 1998, was to meet with university officials Friday about his future.

Alabama was again perched atop the rankings this season until a shocking loss to Auburn in the Iron Bowl on Nov. 30. Chris Davis' last-second field goal return knocked the Tide from the No. 1 spot in the BCS rankings, ruining their chances to win another championship.

Instead, Auburn and Florida State will face off in the BCS Championship Game next month.

Alabama (11-1), led by quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist AJ McCarron, will play Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2.

"Coach Saban is the best in the business and has led our program to the pinnacle of college football," Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said in a statement. "This agreement is a strong indication of our mutual commitment to building on the foundation he has established."

Saban, 62, has also coached Toledo, Michigan State and LSU and is one of only four coaches in the modern era to win four national titles. He also reached the top with LSU after the 2003 season.

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