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Saban arrives at Alabama

Jan. 4, 2007 at 2:08 PM

TUSCALOOSA, Ala., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Nick Saban, who denied interest in coaching at the University of Alabama much of December, was introduced Thursday as the Crimson Tide's new head coach.

Saban informed Miami Dolphins officials Wednesday that he was taking an offer from Alabama, ending a two-year NFL coaching stint. He reportedly agreed to an eight-year contract with Alabama valued at some $32 million.

"I can't tell you how pleased and honored I am to be your coach at the University of Alabama," Saban said at a news conference in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Saban is the 27th head football coach for the Crimson Tide. He replaces Mike Shula, who was fired in November after four seasons leading the team. Saban was 15-17 as coach of the Dolphins but has a career collegiate coaching record of 91-42-1. He guided Louisiana State to the 2003 season Bowl Championship Series title.

Alabama, which had a rich football tradition, hasn't posted a winning season since going 10-3 in 2002.

"I know there is tremendous expectation here as to what you'd like to have accomplished with this football program," Saban said. "I want to tell you however you feel about it, I have higher expectations for this football program."

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