Gill extended through 2013

Updated: December 16, 2008, 7:34 PM ET
By Graham Watson | ESPN.com

Turner Gill will be on the Buffalo sidelines next season.

Gill and the university announced Tuesday afternoon that the coach has received a contract extension and a raise.

Details of the deal were not disclosed, but the school did note that Gill's contract would run through 2013 with a rollover option each season. Gill's pay increase will make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the Mid-American Conference. His assistants also will receive pay raises.

"On the day I came here to be the head coach I told my team that one day we would be successful here at the University at Buffalo," Gill said in a statement.

"Now, more than ever, I have never been more proud to be the head coach of this program at this great academic institution. This program has proven it can win now and it is built to continue to win in the future. I am grateful to president John Simpson and athletic director Warde Manuel for their continued support and faith in me as a football coach and leader of young men."

Several schools, including Syracuse and Auburn, were courting Gill during the past couple weeks, but Syracuse went with New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Doug Marrone and Auburn hired Iowa State coach Gene Chizik.

Auburn's choice of Chizik and not Gill drew the wrath of prominent Auburn alum Charles Barkley, who said Monday that the only reason the Tigers did not hire Gill is because Gill is black.

"I think race was the No. 1 factor," Barkley, who played basketball for three seasons at Auburn during the early 1980s, told ESPN.com's Mark Schlabach. "You can say it's not about race, but you can't compare the two résumés and say [Chizik] deserved the job. Out of all the coaches they interviewed, Chizik probably had the worst résumé."

Gill became a hot commodity this season after leading Buffalo to an 8-5 season and the school's first MAC championship. Buffalo also will attend the program's first-ever bowl game when the Bulls face Connecticut in the International Bowl on Jan. 3 in Toronto. Gill is 15-22 in his three seasons with the Bulls.

"I am extremely proud of the accomplishments of Turner, his coaching staff and his team," Manuel said. "They have brought unprecedented attention to the University at Buffalo and have been great ambassadors for the school. I am thrilled that Turner will remain as our head coach, and with President John Simpson, am elated to reward him and his staff for their efforts."

Graham Watson covers college football for ESPN.com.

Graham Watson | email

College Football
Watson joined ESPN.com in 2008 after four seasons covering the Missouri Tigers and the Big 12 Conference for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She also covered college football recruiting for the Dallas Morning News.

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