Deal could pay at least $2 million a year

Updated: December 21, 2004, 1:19 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

After leading Auburn to its best season in school history, the school is ready to reward coach Tommy Tuberville with a new deal, The Birmingham News reported Tuesday.

The contract will be five to seven years and will make Tuberville one of the highest-paid coaches in the Southeastern Conference, said Auburn interim President Ed Richardson on Monday. The contract could pay Tuberville at least $2 million per year with guarantees. Richardson did not identify the amount, but called the raise "substantial."

Tuberville's current contract is five years at $1.5 million annually, and he is also in line for at least $300,000 in performance bonuses this year.

Auburn is 12-0 and heading to the Sugar Bowl to play Virginia Tech on Jan. 3. Tuberville has a 50-24 record in six seasons at Auburn.

Richardson met with Tuberville late Monday afternoon and quickly agreed on the principles of the new deal.

"It's down to small things," Richardson told the paper. "We're going to make our contract available certainly this week. He'll have it. When he agrees to it, we'll be ready to go."

Richardson said he expected a counteroffer, but no stumbling blocks.

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