Guys, Nate Oats Isn’t Going to North Carolina
April 1 will never not be the oddest day to announce major news, a surprising cut, a league-altering trade, an unexpected retirement. Nonetheless, that's just what happened when North Carolina men's basketball head coach Roy Williams announced his retirement from the Tar Heels program Thursday morning.
While it's no joke that one of the most prestigious basketball programs is without a head coach, the thought that Alabama head coach Nate Oats may be the replacement in Chapel Hill sure is.
As though it couldn't be any clearer that Nate Oats has placed roots in Tuscaloosa, the announcement of Williams's retirement sent Alabama sports Twitter into a frenzy as speculation rose that Oats could make the leap to a blueblood program further north.
Hey Nick, step back from the ledge my friend, because this one isn't happening.
Oats was emphatic when his name quickly arose as the top candidate to head to Indiana to coach the Hoosiers after Archie Miller was fired.
“No interest in any job other than the one I currently have,” Oats reportedly told the Tuscaloosa News at the time. “We have something special here, love it here, and just signed an extension for this very reason so we didn’t have to address these situations while we’re trying to win games.”
And yeah, as fans, our heads immediately revert back to 2006 when Nick Saban said he wouldn't be the coach at Alabama, and that is perfectly fair.
But the thing with Oats is that he has given his unwavering commitment since day one to build Alabama into a blue blood program, rather than take over at an established program like North Carolina or Indiana.
Lay the fear to the side. Oats isn't going anywhere, and it's not just because of a $12.5 million buyout on his brand new contract. It's about the culture and progress he's only just begun to create at Alabama.
While a Sweet 16 appearance is nice, the work isn't done yet for Oats at Alabama. And restarting that effort at North Carolina is wildly outside of the personality of the coach we've come to respect and adore in Tuscaloosa.