Les Miles will remain LSU's coach

Updated: January 11, 2011, 9:07 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Les Miles will remain LSU's coach after talking with Michigan officials about the vacancy at his alma mater.

LSU athletic director Joe Alleva released a statement Tuesday confirming that Miles will return for a seventh season with the Tigers.

"I am pleased to announce that Les Miles will remain the head coach at LSU," Alleva said. "Les has led this program to many great successes on the field and his players represent LSU well off the field. We look forward to many great years of LSU football under his leadership."

"The want and need to stand by my commitment to the team that I coach and the school that I represent really overshadowed any other consideration," Miles explained while speaking at the American Football Coaches Association convention Tuesday in Dallas. "The business that we're doing is affecting people's lives, playing for championships, encouraging a degree, setting people on a path that will benefit them. I think that happened for me at Michigan and hopefully it's happening for others at LSU."

Miles met with Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon and other school representatives Monday night in Baton Rouge but did not return with them to Ann Arbor. He reportedly met with Alleva later Monday.

Miles declined Tuesday to say if the Wolverines had extended a formal offer to him to coach but joked, "The reports of my departure are greatly exaggerated."

"The job was never offered to them," Brandon said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, referring to Miles and Jim Harbaugh. "We did have different discussions with them that were helpful and positive."

The meeting came just three days after LSU celebrated a 41-24 victory over Texas A&M in the AT&T Cotton Bowl that gave Miles his fourth season with at least 11 wins with the Tigers.

Michigan moved ahead, hiring San Diego State coach Brady Hoke on Tuesday afternoon.

Miles said he was pleased to learn of Hoke's hiring and added that he will continue to "root very strongly for my alma mater."

Miles is 62-17 with a 2007 national championship in six seasons at LSU since taking over for Nick Saban in 2005. He has four years remaining on his contract.

Miles was an offensive lineman on two Big Ten championship teams at Michigan under the late Bo Schembechler, who later gave Miles his first chance to be an assistant coach in 1980. Brandon is a former teammate.

It's the second time Miles has decided to remain at LSU instead of returning to Michigan as coach. He was considered a front-runner to succeed Lloyd Carr in 2007 before announcing he would stay in Baton Rouge.

Last Wednesday, Rich Rodriguez, the man Michigan wound up hiring in 2007, was fired with a 15-22 record in three seasons.

Miles' current LSU contract pays him $3.75 million per year, runs through 2014 and includes an annual one-year rollover at the discretion of the athletic director that could extend the deal to 2015. The contract also would make him among the three highest-paid college coaches should he win a second national title with the Tigers.

A person close to Miles told ESPN.com's Joe Schad that the coach's current LSU deal has more than $18 million in guarantees.

Although Alleva did not object to Miles meeting with his alma mater, he also said LSU was committed to working with Miles to ensure he remains in Baton Rouge. He did not go into details about what adjustments might be made to Miles' contract.

Next season will be Miles' seventh at LSU, where he has brought in one highly rated recruiting class after another.

Last month, Miles signed coveted 6-foot-5, 230-pound junior college transfer quarterback Zach Mettenberger, a former top Georgia recruit who was dismissed by the Bulldogs because of legal troubles.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com. ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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