Less than two weeks after signing a contract that would keep him as head coach of the University at Buffalo men’s basketball coach for the next five years, Nate Oats has instead left the program.
The UB athletic department announced Wednesday that Oats resigned as men’s basketball coach, and has accepted the same job at Alabama. Alabama also confirmed the hire in a release Wednesday.
Oats did not return a call from The News following the announcement of his departure. AL.com reported Wednesday that Alabama will introduce Oats at 2 p.m. ET Thursday.
“I want to thank the UB administration for helping us elevate Buffalo into one of the premier mid-major programs in the country,” Oats said in a statement regarding his departure, released by UB Wednesday afternoon. “The support we have received from the Western New York community during the good times and the bad times has been nothing short of amazing. This community has made Buffalo feel like home for Crystal and my family over the last six years.”
Oats’ resignation and move to Alabama comes three days after UB’s season ended in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A source told the News that Oats was on campus Wednesday morning at UB and attended an athletic department meeting.
“We’re shocked by how quick and quiet this was,” the source said.
Another source told the News that the athletic department informed the basketball players of Oats’ departure during a 4 p.m. meeting on campus.
UB lost to Texas Tech, 78-58, in an NCAA Tournament game Sunday at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Oats, 44, is a native of Wisconsin who replaced Bobby Hurley as UB’s Most wins as a men’s basketball coach in UB history:
Coach Years W L Pct
Len Serfustini 1956-70 206 105 .662 Arthur Powell 1915-43 198 190 .510 R. Witherspoon 1999-2013 196 228 .462 Malcolm Eiken 1946-56 140 73 .657 Daniel Bazzani 1983-93 111 154 .419 Nate Oats 2015-19 96 43 .691 Tim Cohane 1994-99 80 83 .491
Nate Oats will be joining a Power 5 conference after leading the University at Buffalo to three NCAA berths in four seasons.