Sports Outside the Beltway

Alabama Signs Mike Shula Through 2012

Alabama has decided to extend the contract of head football coach Mike Shula, who finally had a winning season last year after an abysmal first two years, through 2012.

Alabama football coach Mike Shula received a new six-year contract Wednesday worth $1.55 million per year. The deal extends his contract two years through early 2012, with a raise of $650,000 plus a $200,000 signing bonus. Shula led the eighth-ranked Crimson Tide to a 10-2 record and a Cotton Bowl victory in his third season.

The university’s trustees compensation committee unanimously approved the contract, moving Shula’s salary into the upper half among coaches in the Southeastern Conference. Shula guided his alma mater back from NCAA sanctions and two quick coaching changes. “I’m excited about our future at Alabama and I love the university,” he said. “This is a great place to live and work. With our new facilities and support areas, our future is very bright.”

Shula receives an increase from $150,000 to $200,000 in his base salary and an increase from $750,000 to $1.35 million in “talent fees.” Shula would also get $200,000 annually in deferred compensation after the contract is completed.

Shula posted a 20-17 record at Alabama after going 4-9 in his debut season when he replaced Mike Price, who was fired four months before his first season for off-the-field behavior. Only four SEC coaches are set to make more than Shula next season: Auburn’s Tommy Tuberville, Georgia’s Mark Richt, Tennessee’s Phillip Fulmer and Florida’s Urban Meyer all make about $2 million a year.

For a program that has twelve national titles to its name, it’s actually embarrassing to be paying less than those schools. Still, the last championship was way back in 1992 and Alabama doesn’t have the luster it did in the glory days.

Shula, who quarterbacked the Tide from 1984-86 (overlapping my undergraduate career), is likely to be a lifer at the Capstone if he keeps up the winning ways. I can’t see him being lured away by another college program. Now, if the Miami Dolphins called, it might be a different story, given that his famous father, Don, made his legacy there.

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The staff at Alabama is apparently stupid if they cannot see that Mike Shula is an embarrassment and an incompetent coach who doesn’t allow the other coaches that they pay to do their job. It’s funny and disgusting at the same time to see how EVERY team, good and bad, picks up on our game and see that they can rush the QB all day and come out with either a decent win or a “by the hair” loss. You rarely see the shotgun formation being used. South Carolina almost beat Auburn using it in a versatile way. Can you say that SC has a better team than Bama? No. Why allow these great wide receivers gain so many yards with no points? Is this not dumb? QB stays on his butt, as Auburn so “brilliantly” pointed out last year. Same crap, every day. I bet coaches get a kick out of preparing for games with us. Shula’d make a game vs a high school team hard if he were coaching an all-star team.

Posted by Eugene Jacobs | September 30, 2006 | 07:16 pm | Permalink

Coach Bryant said over and over on his Sunday afternoon play back of the preceeding game that when you hire a new coach he must have five years on his contract, with no griping or complaining about his coaching, so you don’t hurt his recruiting. If not he was doomed from the start.

Posted by Carlton Grogan | October 26, 2006 | 09:11 pm | Permalink

The loss to Miss State a 3-6 team, should show the Bama staff that Shula is not the man for the Alabama job. He hasn’t done anything to show this team is moving in the right direction. The team is NOT improving.

Posted by Steve | November 5, 2006 | 01:50 am | Permalink

God help us… the thought of Bama sucking until 2012 makes me want to curl up and die.

Posted by Topher | November 5, 2006 | 11:45 pm | Permalink

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