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Avery Johnson officially named Alabama’s men’s basketball coach

Avery Johnson is Alabama's new basketball coach. (Photo via UA Athletics)
Avery Johnson is Alabama’s new basketball coach. (Photo via UA Athletics)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala.–As the NCAA Championship game tipped off, Alabama officially announced Avery Johnson as its men’s basketball coach.

“I am very pleased to announce that I have reached an agreement with Avery Johnson to become the new head men’s basketball coach at the University of Alabama,” Alabama athletic director Bill Battle said in a prepared statement. “Coach Johnson has an impressive record from the professional ranks, as both a player and a head coach. His personal history is a testament to what character, enthusiasm, perseverance, talent and intelligence can do. He has shown fortitude and skill in every opportunity.”

No contract terms were announced, but the Tuscaloosa News is reporting the contract is for six years and “approximately $17 million.”

Johnson spent 16 years in the NBA as a player, and coached in the league for seven seasons. He won an NBA title in 1999 as a player with San Antonio and coached the Dallas Mavericks to the franchise’s first title appearance in 2006. He has no collegiate coaching experience, but immediately emerged as Alabama’s top target once Wichita State’s Gregg Marshall rebuffed the school’s offer.

Battle was transparent in this coaching search, and seemed to get a candidate that would make the fans happy.

“I am confident that Avery will provide our student-athletes with the best qualities of leadership: commitment, hard work, enthusiasm, poise, confidence, and pride,” Battle said. “I am very excited about having Avery join the Crimson Tide family. Not only do I believe that he will be an excellent head coach, but I am also convinced that he will be a tremendous example to our student-athletes in all areas on and off the court.”

Johnson’s introductory press conference is reported to take place on Wednesday.

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