LSU retains Miles with raise, extension
LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles during pre game warmups prior to facing the Ole Miss Rebels at Tiger Stadium. LSU defeated Ole Miss 41-35. (Crystal LoGiudic/US Presswire )
Arkansas offered Miles a five-year contract reportedly worth $27.5 million late Tuesday, but LSU athletic director Joe Alleva acted quickly to get Miles a new contract with the Tigers. The details are still being ironed out but Miles is likely to receive a "substantial" bump in annual salary.
Miles, who has an 85-20 record in eight seasons at the Baton Rouge, La., school, is LSU's second-winningest coach. Before Wednesday's agreement, Miles' contract paid him a base salary of $3.751 million, plus postseason and academic bonuses. That deal was scheduled to expire in 2017.
According to published salary figures, only Texas coach Mack Brown ($5.193 million), Nick Saban at Alabama ($4.833 million) and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops ($4.085 million) had higher annual compensation than Miles among active college football coaches.
"Les Miles is one of the premier coaches in the country and has LSU in contention for championships year in and year out," Alleva said in a statement Wednesday. "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."
Miles has been heavily courted before, including by Michigan in 2008 when he opted to stay at LSU.
"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.
"Our intent was to address his contract following this year's bowl game, but speculation about other job opportunities accelerated our process a little."
LSU secured a fifth 10-win season in Miles' tenure by beating Arkansas on Friday.
The Razorbacks, projected as fringe national title contenders in the preseason, finish 4-8 and went 2-6 in the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas fired head coach Bobby Petrino in April after athletic director Jeff Long learned Petrino lied about a tryst with a 25-year-old former Arkansas volleyball player. Petrino had secretly manipulated the hiring process to make her a football office assistant.
He was replaced this season on an interim basis by John L. Smith, who was informed he will not be retained for the 2013 season.