Wells Says He's Staying

It's been a week and six days since Alabama's season ended and speculation began about coach Jim Wells' future ramped up. Wells was considered among a handful of candidates for the vacant head coaching job at LSU, but on Friday Wells pulled his name out of the running for the LSU job.

"My heart belongs to the Alabama Crimson Tide," Wells said Friday in a statement published on the Tuscaloosa News web site, and later echoed in a release from the the University's Media Relations office. "We are staying here. That has been my main interest all along.

"I did want to meet with Coach Moore and [UA president] Dr. [Robert] Witt to discuss the future of our program in all areas, including academics, scholarships and facilities. We met last week, and I felt Dr. Witt and Coach Moore were very helpful, and I look forward to working with them in the future.

"Coach Bertman had asked to meet with me personally. I felt I should do that, because he is an old friend, and Coach Moore approved that. We met in Omaha and we talked. I don't want to share the particulars of our conversation, because he is an old friend. But I wish them well in their search."

"From Wednesday (June 14th) on we had several very positive meetings, and, as Coach Wells stated in the Wednesday meetings his heart is at The University of Alabama. He is staying as our head baseball coach," said University of Alabama Director of Athletics, Mal Moore. "We look forward to more championships and happy times down the road."

Wells didn't say whether or not he had been offered the LSU job outright, although he did say he didn't consider his meeting with Bertman an interview.

Wells completed his 12th season at UA at the NCAA Super Regionals. He has compiled a 522-246 (.679) record at the Capstone, winning two SEC Championships (1996 and 2006) and three SEC Western Division titles (1996, 2002 and 2006). He also leads all SEC coaches with six SEC Tournament titles (1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2003).

In addition, he has led the Crimson Tide to NCAA Tournament appearances in 10 of his 12 seasons, including six regional titles, two Super Regional berths and three trips to the College World Series. Alabama went 56-14 in 1997 and played in the national championship game at Omaha.

He led Alabama to a 44-21 record this season and the school's league-leading 14th SEC Championship. It was also the school's 25th overall regular season baseball title since turn of the century.

Overall, Wells has compiled a 714-335 (.681) record in 17 years at Northwestern State and Alabama. He was 192-89 (.683) in five years with the Demons, winning three Southland Conference titles (1991, 1993 and 1994) and posting two NCAA Regional berths (1991 and 1993).

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