LSU's Chavis to cash in with new deal

LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis has proved over the last two decades that he's one of the finest defensive coordinators in college football.

He's now going to be paid like it.

Chavis, who won the Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in the country last season, is poised to get a new deal that will pay him an average of $1.1 million over the next three years. The contract is still being finalized and will go before the LSU Board of Supervisors for approval this summer.

Chavis was already earning $708,000 annually. But with the way assistant coaches' salaries are skyrocketing, he deserved to reach that million-dollar stratosphere as much as anybody. LSU needed somebody to come in and put a charge into that defense, and that's exactly what Chavis has done ever since arriving in 2009.

"I think what we've done on defense has established LSU as a very dominant mainstay of defensive football for three years," LSU coach Les Miles said. "I think this makes the statement that we will make a commitment to defensive play and excellent coaching, and I think that's exactly what we should do."

As good as the Tigers were last season on defense, they have a chance to be just as good -- and maybe even better -- in 2012.

Chavis isn't one to crave the spotlight. In fact, he runs from it. But he's been a perfect fit at LSU with his blue-collar, nose-to-the-grindstone approach, and the players there love playing for him.

He's extremely proud of what the Tigers accomplished last season, particularly on defense. But like most on the Bayou, it's hard for him to get past that last game.

"There's a hurt there that hasn't gone away, and to be honest with you, I don't know if it will go away," Chavis said earlier this spring. "What we've chosen to do is go back to work. Really, that's all you can do, and that's the way we're always going to operate."