Miles: 'I'll say it again, I'm going to be the coach at LSU'

Updated: December 11, 2007, 10:18 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU football coach Les Miles, responding to a published report that he had talked with Michigan officials last week, said Tuesday he is not a candidate for the Wolverines' vacant head coaching position.

The Detroit Free Press had reported that Miles spoke Friday morning with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and university president Mary Sue Coleman, according to several people with knowledge of the call.

In a statement released by LSU, Miles said that was true. But he also clarified that the conversation was not about him.

"I had a conversation with Michigan last week that covered a wide range of topics. I was doing nothing more than helping them with their search for a football coach, just as any loyal alumnus might do. It was nothing more than that," Miles said.

Les Miles
Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesLes Miles says he spoke with officials at Michigan -- but only to advise his alma mater on its continuing search for a coach.

"I'm not a candidate for that job and I will not be a candidate for the job. I was only assisting them in their search for a coach," he added. "I have a great job at a wonderful place, a place that my family calls home. It's time that Michigan goes on with their search for a football coach.

"I'll say it again, I'm going to be the coach at LSU next season."

Miles signed a contract extension with LSU through 2012 on Thursday. His salary will depend on whether the Tigers beat Ohio State in the Allstate BCS Championship Game in New Orleans on Jan. 7.

If LSU wins, the contract provides Miles must become among the nation's top-earning college football coaches, no less than the third highest paid. University officials estimate that would put his annual earnings between $3.2 million and $3.5 million -- but that could grow depending on contract negotiations with other coaches.

Should Ohio State win the game, Miles' contract would increase to at least $2.8 million annually based on LSU's SEC championship this year.

A $1.25 million buyout that Miles must pay if he leaves LSU for Michigan remains in the contract, which also includes a new settlement clause should Miles be fired without cause before the contract expires. If LSU fired Miles, the coach could be owed as much as $15 million, up from $10 million.

Michigan previously obtained permission from LSU to contact Miles about its coaching vacancy, but had to wait to speak with him until after the Dec. 1 SEC championship game. However, Miles held an unusual press conference hours before the game in Atlanta, saying he intended to remain LSU's coach.

LSU then defeated Tennessee, allowing the Tigers to advance to the BCS title game after Missouri and West Virginia both lost later that night.

Michigan has yet to find a successor for Lloyd Carr, who retired in November. Miles played for Bo Schembechler at Michigan and twice was part of the late Schembechler's coaching staff.

I'll say it again, I'm going to be the coach at LSU next season.

-- Les Miles

Michigan associate athletic director Bruce Madej said the university is not commenting on its coaching search.

Earlier Tuesday, LSU athletic director Skip Bertman told ESPN's Joe Schad he can't stop other schools from calling Miles.

"He signed the contract on Thursday. So even if he did [talk to Michigan] I would think it wouldn't matter. Because Les wants to be here. He is an honorable man," Bertman told ESPN. "I don't believe he would lead anybody the wrong way."

Bertman told the Free Press that Miles' amended contract includes free tuition for his children at LSU, academic incentives based on his players' achievements and a double payment of his remaining deal if he is fired.

"Les made a decision he wanted to stay. He loves Michigan, but the truth is, for Les Miles at this time, this is probably a better place," Bertman said, according to the Free Press.

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad was used in this report.