Alabama appears to be in need of a new head basketball coach.
The Crimson Tide are negotiating a buyout with head coach Avery Johnson who just completed his fourth year at the school, according to a report Thursday from Al.com’s Michael Casagrande. Johnson has posted a record of 75-62 in four seasons in Tuscaloosa. (REPORT: Wiretap Reveals Will Wade Making Recruiting ‘Offer)
BREAKING: Avery Johnson, Alabama negotiating buyout. https://t.co/P5H9B2pq9O
— Michael Casagrande (@ByCasagrande) March 22, 2019
Johnson was hired by Alabama in April of 2015, replacing Anthony Grant who was fired after six underachieving seasons. (RELATED: SEC Basketball Preview: The Best Teams From The Best Conference)
His son, Avery Johnson Jr., who has played for the Crimson Tide for the past three years, sent a vague tweet Thursday morning:
Good Morning! Hope everyone has a great day????????????????
— Avery Johnson Jr (@itsaveryjohnson) March 22, 2019
While nothing is official, it certainly appears that the Avery Johnson-era at Alabama is coming to an end. It’s a sad, but necessary day for those of us who love the Tide. The program has lost at least 15 games in each of Johnson’s first four years, and he simply has not made enough progress to justify a fifth.
That being said, Johnson’s tenure was not a complete failure. He was able to stabilize the program after Grant’s disastrous tenure, and brought a ton of talent to the program. He recruited Collin Sexton, and led the Crimson Tide to their first NCAA tournament win in a dozen years in 2018.
Ultimately, Johnson leaves the program better than he found it and tees things up for the next coach to win big right away.
I had the opportunity to chat with coach Johnson a few years ago, and he’s a hard worker, a class act, and a good basketball coach. It’s disappointing that things didn’t work out for him at Alabama, but I wish him nothing but the best in the future.