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Wednesday, February 13
 
Saban rewarded for Peach Bowl victory

Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU football coach Nick Saban signed a new contract Wednesday, LSU athletic director Skip Bertman said.

DL coach Jenkins retires
LSU defensive line coach Pete Jenkins, who spent 13 years with the Tigers during two separate stints, announced his retirement Wednesday.

Jenkins, who coached 34 years at nine different schools at the collegiate level, coached at LSU from 1980 to 1990 and was then hired back by current Tiger coach Nick Saban prior to the 2000 season.

He called his time at LSU "the happiest and most rewarding" of his life.

"My hope in coming back to LSU was to try to be as helpful to coach Saban as possible in getting the Tigers back to their rightful place in college football," Jenkins said. "I feel that LSU is on more solid ground than ever before."

Jenkins, 60, handled the defensive coordinator duties for the Tigers in 1982 and again from 1987-89. He was assistant head coach from 1980-84 and in 1990.

Bertman said he could not release the terms of the deal pending approval by the university's Board of Supervisors, who are next scheduled to meet on March 8.

"I'm happy about the contract," Saban said. "It's nobody's fault that it took this long but sometimes things take time to get worked out. I'm just glad that it's finished. Now we're looking forward to spring practice and to next football season."

Saban took over a program that had been 3-8 in 1999 and in his first season as coach led the Tigers to an 8-4 mark that included a Peach Bowl victory. This past season, LSU started slow but fought it's way into the Southeastern Conference championship game, where it upset Tennessee en route to a Sugar Bowl victory over Big Ten champion Illinois.

Ever since, Saban has been mentioned as a candidate for several open NFL jobs, even as he insisted he intended to remain at LSU.

Bertman said Saban's contract contains a new deferred compensation plan, which was passed by the LSU Board of Supervisors in December.

To reap the full benefits of the plan, Saban must remain at LSU through November 30, 2006, Bertman said.

"Personally, I'm thrilled that Coach Saban has signed this contract and will remain as head football coach here at LSU," Bertman said.




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