I'll let Pete, John, and our expert crew of Bama fans, critics and West Virginia fans dissect this. But, it's official.
University of Alabama officials and West Virginia's Rich Rodriguez have reached an agreement in principle for Rodriguez to become the Crimson Tide's next head football coach, two sources close to the search told The Birmingham News tonight.So after a whirlwind coaching search that saw nearly every big name coach in consideration for the job, Alabama found its man.
Personally I'll call this a good save, as most of the prominent coaches mentioned balked at the opportunity. Rodriguez was literally the last available first-rate coach before Alabama would have had to refine its search and start trolling fallback candidates like Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey. They've done well here, although West Virginia has to be devastated.
If it's any consolation, Steve Slaton and Pat White will return for their junior seasons in 2007. The next coach will inherit a ready-built team and the tough coaching job won't have to really begin until his second season.
As for compensation:
Sources close to the search said Rodriguez will make over $2 million per year with incentives and will have one of the highest-paid coaching staffs in the Southeastern Conference.I was hearing the next coach could net upwards of $3 million given Alabama's stature and expectations but Rodriguez may just be a downright bargain all things considered.
One thing we already know about him: he can beat Georgia.
More to come later, so be sure and check the Alabama and West Virginia FanHouses tomorrow.
UPDATE: I'm... Ron Burgandy?!