BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU head football coach Les Miles signed
a contract extension Thursday to keep him at the university through
2012 and end speculation that Miles might leave for a job at the
University of Michigan.
"I'm thrilled to be here. I'm thrilled to be LSU's head coach.
I'm thrilled to be on the campus," Miles told the LSU Board of
Supervisors before signing the deal.
"I look forward to many years as the LSU head coach," he
The contract extension requires approval of the full governing
board, which is expected to be a formality when the board meets
Friday. The board's athletic committee approved the extension
Thursday with nearly all board members present.
The agreement doesn't change Miles' salary, which will already
rise to at least $2.8 million annually based on LSU's Southeastern
Conference championship this year. An SEC championship win requires
Miles' salary to be at least the third highest in the conference.
If LSU wins the national championship, the contract provides
Miles would become among the nation's top-earning college football
coaches, no less than the third highest-paid. University officials
estimate that would put his annual earnings between $3.2 million
and $3.5 million -- but that could grow depending on contract
negotiations with other coaches around the country.
LSU (11-2) faces Ohio State (11-1) in the Allstate BCS Championship Game on Jan. 7 at the Louisiana Superdome.
Just before his team played Tennessee in the SEC championship
game on Dec. 1, Miles effectively stopped predictions he would bolt
Baton Rouge for Michigan, announcing his intention to remain at LSU. Wolverines coach Lloyd Carr announced his retirement in
Miles wouldn't talk about the speculation that had dogged him
for the past weeks about a return to Michigan, where he played,
worked as an assistant coach and met his wife.
LSU officials praised Miles' coaching, his straightforwardness
and his integrity.
"He told the people in this room he wasn't going to Michigan,
and he never was. He never leveraged it," said LSU athletic director Skip Bertman.
During his three years at LSU, Miles has amassed impressive
statistics that set records at the university. His overall record
of 33-6 is the best three-year span in LSU history, and his 14 wins
over teams ranked in the top 25 is a school record, said Bertman.
His wins in conference rivalries also set records.
only coach in LSU history to defeat Florida, Auburn and Alabama in
one season," Bertman said. "But he's done it twice."
Miles also deflected concerns about the distractions the uproar
over his tenure at LSU may have caused, saying he and his team were
focused on the championship game.
"I can promise you we're at the task at hand," he said.
Miles' contract includes a base salary, multimedia compensation,
athletic and academic incentives and additional money from the
university's athletic foundation. The contract had been slated to
end Dec. 31, 2010, but the extension moves that to Dec. 31, 2012,
with options for further extensions, at the discretion of the LSU
The contract extension signed Thursday added a series of
financial incentive clauses to recognize players' academic
achievements. If players hit certain academic benchmarks, Miles is
given a pool of $150,000 to $250,000 to disburse to his coaching
staff to reward them.
Also, the contract termination clause was changed. If LSU fires
Miles without cause, the coach could be owed as much as $15
million, up from $10 million.