One day after Alabama’s 2018-19 season came to a disappointing end in the first round of the Postseason NIT, the program is reportedly close to completing a change in leadership.
As first reported by Michael Casagrande of AL.com, the school and head coach Avery Johnson are negotiating the terms of a contract buyout. Per the terms of his contract, had Johnson been fired before April 15 he would have been owed a payment of $8 million. The buyout figure would have dropped to $6 million after that date.
Alabama lost to Norfolk State in the first round of the Postseason NIT Wednesday night, after which a Norfolk State player made note of the Crimson Tide’s lack of energy.
In four seasons at Alabama Johnson, who was also a head coach in the NBA for the Mavericks and Nets, led the program to just one NCAA tournament appearance and an overall record of 75-62. In recent years many programs in the SEC have done more to build up their basketball programs, either by improving facilities, making sound head coaching hires or both. Johnson was part of that wave, but the program hasn’t been as successful as many hoped for when he was brought on board.
One name that has mentioned in connection with this job in the immediate aftermath of Thursday’s news is that of Iowa State head coach Steve Prohm. Prohm, who served as the head coach at Murray State from 2011-15, is a 1997 graduate of Alabama.