Nate Oats said today that his agent has opened negotiations with UB on a new contract for him and his staff. Both sides motivated to get deal done. Could happen before MAC tournament, but talks aren't as far along as they were a year ago at this time.— Jonah Bronstein (@lebronstein) March 11, 2019
I believe after his extension last year that Oats is the highest paid coach in the MAC with a base salary of 600,000 a season. Maybe some other school leapfrogged Buffalo but I don’t think so.
I do know that John Groce is getting some kind of bump next year from Akron that might get him to 650 with base and supplemental pay.
Oats has been very public and very clear about his desire to stay in Buffalo, today was no different.
“My focus is on the games we have to play for the next two, hopefully three weeks. We want to be here. I’m not going to talk to another team while I’m still coaching Buffalo. I don’t want to talk to another team period. So hopefully we can make something happen” — Nate Oats
In other interviews this year he and UB Womens coach Felicia Leggett Jack, who also earned an extension last season, both stressed their desire to stay in Buffalo but that they really want to see the department move towards a stand alone practice facility for Basketball.
The options for that are:
- A new building for hoops only
- A new student recreational center on campus so Alumni Arena can be turned over to Athletics
Is this just coaching talk from Oats? Maybe...
I’ve never head a coach say, when still working at a school, “I want to get out of dodge for the big payday”. That’s simply not something a successful individual would ever say.
But Oats has some compelling ties to Buffalo.
While in his first season as Head Coach his wife went through cancer treatment at Roswell, while the school and community supported them all along the way.
He just purchased a seven figure house last summer, knowing full well what 2018 was going to look like. Nate Oats knew he had the makings of a top 25 team and that his name would be thrown around and still made a big commitment.
Finally there is the fact that he is really close to pulling off a “Gonzaga of the East” with Buffalo. UB is losing an amazing group of seniors this season but their recruiting has been at a high major level for several years.
Let’s just hope before things are done in Cleveland that Oats agent and the school find the right number to keep him here.