NCAAB Team Profiles: Alabama Crimson Tide

The Alabama Crimson Tide is the basketball team for the University of Alabama. They participate in the  Southeastern Conference (SEC).

Crimson Tide is just behind Kentucky in SEC tournament titles, 3rd in total wins, and 4th in regular season conference titles.

In regards to March Madness Odds, the Crimson Tide basketball team has been slowly making a comeback and showing what talents they as a team can bring.

In this article, we outline some of the notable coaches that the Crimson Tide have had and what they did for the team, and also some alumni that have come out of the University of Alabama.


The Crimson Tide basketball team has always been overshadowed by the Crimson Tide football team. The name Crimson Tide actually comes from a 1907 football game where the torrential rains allowed Alabama to force a tie against Auburn who were expected to win. A sports writer called the offensive line a ‘crimson tide’ as the wet dirt stained their jerseys red.

The first coach to put the Crimson Tide basketball team on the map was C. M. Newton. He was brought in as a coach in 1968 in order to help the Crimson Tide. In total, Newton was there for 12 seasons and led them to a 211-123 record.

From 1974-1976 under Newtons coaching the Crimson Tide won 3 consecutive SEC titles. He managed to bring the team to 4 NIT and 2 NCAA men’s divisional championships. Due to his achievements, the University of Alabama named a recruitment center in his honor in 2006.

Wimp Sanderson succeed Newton in the 1980-81 season after he had resigned to become the assistant commissioner of the SEC. Sanderson coached them for 12 years and in that time got the team an average of 21.8 wins per year and a 267-119 record. The Crimson Tide basketball team won 4 SEC tournaments, played 1 NIC, and played 8 NCAA tournaments. In 1987, Sanderson was named national coach of the year.

After working under Sanderson for 7 years as an assistant coach, David Hobbs became the new head coach in 1992. During his time he led Crimson Tide to record 2 20-win seasons in 1994 and 1995.

Mark Gottfried played 3 seasons under previously mentioned coach Wimp Sanderson. He became head coach in the 1998-99 season. In the 2001-02 season, Gottfried got the team to their only SEC championship. In 2003, Crimson Tide held the number 1 national ranking, albeit briefly.

During his time as coach, Gottfried led the team to reach Elite Eight in the 2004 tournament and into 5 consecutive NCAA tournaments between 2002 and 2006.

In 2009, Anthony Grant became head coach. He previously stood as head coach at VCU since 2006. He led the team to a 2nd place finish at NIT and led them to their first trip to the NCAA tournament in 6 years. He was fired in 2015.

Avery Johnson became head coach in 2015. He was an NBA coach and wanted a challenge at coaching a team that had never won a championship. Johnson was let go at the end of the 2018-19 season campaign.

Current Coach

The current coach Nate Oats took over from Avery Johnson in 2019 after previously coaching the Buffalo Bulls. In the previous years since Gottfried, the Crimson Tide weren’t at their finest. In his second season as coach, Oats brought Crimson Tide to their first SEC regular season title since 2002 and their first tournament title since 1991.

Notable Alumni

Multiple alumni have come out of Crimson Tide. Below we have compiled a small list and some of their achievements.

  • Lindy Hood - Hood was the leader of the 1929-30 Crimson Tide squad which was undefeated. He was named the first All-American men’s basketball player in 1931.
  • Jerry Harper - Harper created a 1,688 rebound record. This is still the highest in the SEC.
  • Jack Kubiszyn - Kubisyn managed to score an average of 24.6 points per game.  A school record that is still unbeaten.
  • Wendell Hudon - Hudon became the first African-American scholarship athlete in any sport at the University of Alabama. He was signed under Newton in 1969.
  • Leon Douglas - Douglas is the first Crimson Tide player to be selected in the first round of an NBA draft.
  • Charles Cleveland - Cleveland led Crimson Tide to their first NCAA tournament appearance.
  • Reggie King - King was named the SEC male athlete of the year in 1979.
  • Mo Williams - Williams led his team as a freshman to a 27-8 record.
  • Collin Sexton - Sexton signed to Cleveland Cavaliers in 2018 and then Utah Jazz in 2022.
  • Herbert Jones - Jones signed to New Orleans Pelicans in 2021 and was named SEC player of the year that same year.


As you can see, with their long and decorated history, the Crimson Tide is set to make a promising comeback this season.

Since its inception, the Crimson Tide basketball team has appeared in the NCAA tournament a total of 23 times. They have reached Sweet Sixteen eight times and Elite Eight only once under head coach Mark Gottfried.