Nate Oats Named SEC Coach of the Year
The SEC concluded its basketball season and with that comes award season. Alabama head coach Nate Oats was named SEC Coach of the Year after winning the conference in his second season at the helm in Tuscaloosa.
The second year head coach guided Alabama to its first SEC regular season championship since 2002 after finishing in the middle of the pack last season. Oats turned in a conference record of 16-2, tied for the most SEC wins in a season in program history with the 1987 team that also won the conference championship.
Alabama started the conference season on a 10-game winning streak, allowing the Tide to take control of the league from start to finish. The winning streak was the longest for the program since 1996.
Oats is the first Alabama coach to win the award since Mark Gottfried won Coach of the Year in 2002. After two seasons in charge, Oats has a record of 37-21 overall with an SEC record of 24-12. Alabama athletic director Greg Byrne rewarded Oats late in the season with a contract that offered him a raise and tied him to Tuscaloosa until 2027.
Oats has transformed this Alabama program due to a fast style of play, open offense and tough "Blue Collar" defense. Alabama is currently projected to earn a No. 2 seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament by ESPN's Joe Lunardi and is ranked as the No. 6 team in the nation in the current AP Poll.
Oats has utilized the No. 12 recruiting class and bringing in one of the top graduate transfers into the program to fuel this team to new heights while also developing the talent that was already at Alabama.
The Crimson Tide's next game will be Friday at 11 a.m. CT in Nashville against the winner of Kentucky vs. Mississippi State.
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