School wants to keep its coach awhile

Updated: December 11, 2003, 2:22 AM ET
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU Chancellor Mark Emmert and Athletic Director Skip Bertman say they have plans to reward coach Nick Saban with a new and even more lucrative contract after the Tigers play for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl.

They aren't sure how lucrative the deal will be yet.

"Skip and I are in agreement that we want to make sure Nick is our coach for a long time," Emmert said. "We need to make sure there are immediate rewards and long-term rewards that provide the kind of incentives that make Nick want to stay. But there's been nothing more than preliminary conversations, mostly ideas of what that might look like."

Saban's current package, drawn up shortly after LSU beat Illinois in the Sugar Bowl two years ago, pays him $1.6 million per year.

It also contains an annuity that will pay him $1 million if he stays at least two more years and a clause that guarantees Saban at least $1 more per year than the current highest-paid coach if LSU wins the national championship. That coach is Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, whose package guarantees him $2.5 million annually.

Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press