University of Alabama hires Nate Oats to be next head coach

The now former UB men's basketball head coach is headed to Tuscaloosa

Jon Simon
March 27, 2019 - 4:54 pm

Photo: Brett Rojo - USA TODAY Sports

Just a few days after their historic 32-4 season came to a close with a loss to Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament, the University at Buffalo men's basketball team suffered another loss.

Bulls head coach Nate Oats has officially been hired by the University of Alabama to be the next head coach of the Crimson Tide.

Oats signed a five-year extension with UB earlier this year, but he has now resigned and will head to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Buffalo Athletic Director Mark Alnutt officially announced Oats' resignation on Wednesday. 

"I wish Nate the very best and we're thankful for everything he has done to elevate our men's basketball program," Alnutt said. "An opportunity like this is life changing for Nate and his family. Thanks to Nate and the team's success, the Buffalo coaching position will be extremely attractive and a national search is already underway. It will be conducted as quickly and thoroughly as possible. We wish Nate and his family all the best."

In his four years as head coach, Oats led the Bulls to three NCAA Tournament berths, along with three MAC Tournament championships. Oats certainly made his way onto more programs' radars during this season. The Bulls finished with a program-best 32 wins, which is also a record for most wins in a season for a MAC team. 

"I want to thank the UB administration for helping us elevate Buffalo into one of the premier mid-major programs in the country," Oats said. "The support we have received from the Western New York community during the good times and the bad times has been nothing short of amazing. This community has made Buffalo feel like home for Crystal and my family over the last six years." 

Oats was hired as an assistant coach by Bobby Hurley, who came to UB in 2013 to be the head coach. When Hurley left in 2015 for Arizona State, Oats took over. In his four years as head coach, Oats finished with a record of 97-43 (.693 win-percentage). 

Alabama finished 18-16 this season and let go of their head coach Avery Johnson earlier this week, who had been there for four years. 

Alnutt announced that UB associate head coach Jim Whitesell will serve as the interim head coach during the search for a new bench boss. 

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