Miles To Stay At LSU

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) -- Les Miles will remain LSU's football coach rather than bolt to Michigan.
"I am the head coach at LSU. I will be the head coach at LSU," Miles said Saturday. "I have no interest in talking to anybody else."
Wearing a purple tie, standing and gesturing, Miles angrily made his announcement two hours before the No. 5 Tigers played No. 14 Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference championship game.
Miles said an erroneous ESPN report that he was going to Michigan prompted him to speak to his players and the media.
"I've got a championship game to play, and I'm excited about the opportunity of my damn strong football team to play," he said. "It's unfortunate that I had to address my team with that information this morning.
"I represent me in this issue, please ask me after. I'm busy," he said.
LSU chancellor Sean O'Keefe chuckled as Miles charged off the podium.
In an offseason that has seen several big moves, Miles did not want to jump on the coaching carousel. LSU athletic director Skip Bertman said the school and Miles were in agreement.
"Coach Miles and the chancellor have already worked out a contract that they're happy with, but it hasn't been signed yet," Bertman said.
All week, speculation swirled that Miles would leave LSU and return to Michigan, where he played and coached. The Wolverines' job became vacant when Lloyd Carr announced his retirement.
Miles was questioned about Michigan during his news conference Friday at the Georgia Dome. He had said he planned to talk to Wolverines officials after the SEC game.
Instead, Miles tried to return LSU's focus to the team, which has an outside chance to reach the BCS national championship game.
Many had expected Miles to return to Michigan, where he played and coached for the late-great Bo Schembechler and met his wife, long before Lloyd Carr announced the bowl game would end his 13-year career as head coach.
LSU saw the possibility coming, too.
The school put a specific clause in his contract on July 1, 2006, that made it expensive for Miles to go back to Ann Arbor.
In the "termination by coach" section of his deal, Michigan is the only school mentioned. It stated that Miles will not seek or accept employment as Michigan's coach and that he would pay LSU $1.25 million if he left to lead the Wolverines.
LSU hired Miles away from Oklahoma State after Nick Saban departed in 2005 to coach the Miami Dolphins.
Miles was in a position to land the coveted job after turning around Oklahoma State's program, earning three straight bowl bids after the school went 12 years without a postseason appearance. He was 28-21 in four years with the Cowboys and was the Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in 2002.
Saban set a new standard for the Tigers when he led them to a national championship, putting Miles was under instant pressure to win big.
Fortunately for Miles, Saban also left behind a roster loaded with talent, including four players that were taken in the first round of the 2007 NFL draft.
Miles went 11-2 during each of his first two seasons, finishing his first campaign with a lopsided Peach Bowl victory over Miami and his second with a blowout against Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl.
LSU was 10-2 going into the SEC championship game.


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