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The Buffalo News - - SPORTS -

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. 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

James P. McCoy/Buf­falo News file photo

Nate Oats will be join­ing a Power 5 con­fer­ence af­ter lead­ing the Uni­ver­sity at Buf­falo to three NCAA berths in four sea­sons.

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