LSU announced on Wednesday that Les Miles will remain at the school as head coach of the football team, and that he will receive a raise and contract extension.
The new contract and raise comes a day after it was reported that Arkansas was heavily pursuing Miles to be their next head coach, offering him $27.5 million over five years. LSU Director of Athletics Joe Alleva confirmed that the interest from Arkansas played a role in the timing of the extension and raise.
“Our intent was to address his contract following this year’s bowl game, but speculation about other job opportunities accelerated our process a little,” Alleva said in a press release. “I think we have accomplished the important step of securing Les Miles as our head coach for the long-term good of the program.”
Miles confirmed in a news conference on Wednesday that he did speak with Arkansas.
“Our conversation were very preliminary and fell short of any major major interest,” Miles said. “I kind of recommended other candidates. I spoke with [athletic director Jeff Long]. I did not speak to Jerry Jones.”
Miles also said the reported $27.5 million figure Arkansas reportedly was offering him was incorrect.
“I’m an LSU head coach and will be an LSU head coach as long as I can be.”
Terms of the contract extension and pay raise are still being negotiated, and will be announced at a later date, the schools says.
“Les Miles is one of the premier coaches in the country and has LSU in contention for championships year in and year out,” said Alleva. “Only two coaches in the 119-year history of LSU football have coached as many years at this school and only one has won more games. Les Miles has made a commitment to LSU and LSU is solidifying its commitment to Les Miles.
“The coaching business is a competitive one and it is important to compensate our coach for his accomplishments and his worth,” Alleva said. “Les has not received a pay increase since his salary was automatically elevated following our national championship in 2007 and he has continued to keep LSU on the national stage.”
This news should end the speculation about whether or not the offer from Arkansas was real. The only question is whether Miles had any serious thoughts about leaving for Arkansas, or whether he was only entertaining the offer to gain leverage in talks with LSU. The latter seems much more likely.
Between Arkansas and Michigan, this is the second time Miles was able to use a big job opening to get more money from LSU.
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