FAYETTEVILLE — Les Miles said the Arkansas “issue was a sincere one.”
But in the end, the LSU coach wasn’t interested in leaving the Tigers.
LSU announced a contract extension and raise for Miles on Wednesday afternoon, a day after reports indicated he was a factor in the Arkansas coaching search.
“Les Miles is one of the premier coaches in the country and has LSU in contention for championships year in and year out," LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said in a press release. "Only two coaches in the 119-year history of LSU football have coached as many years at this school and only one has won more games. Les Miles has made a commitment to LSU and LSU is solidifying its commitment to Les Miles.”
Miles is 85-20 in eight seasons with the Tigers, leading LSU to two Southeastern Conference championships and the 2007 national title.
His name first emerged in the Arkansas discussion Tuesday, when the sports website Sports by Brooks indicated the Razorbacks were offering Miles a deal that would pay him $5.5 million a year. The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported later Miles was, indeed, had a serious offer to mull over.
Miles — who has known Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long since their days at Michigan — said the reported contract figures were not accurate.
"The Arkansas issue was a sincere one," Miles said Wednesday. "A colleague and friend of mine is AD there, but it fell short of my interest."
Miles declined comment when asked who initiated the contact between the two sides, but said “there was no, 'Yes,' or 'No,' needed" because the the conversations were “preliminary.” He denied reports that former Razorback and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was involved. Miles was on the Dallas staff from 1998-2000.
Either way, Miles will remain at LSU. Arkansas’ search for a coach continues.
— Robbie Neiswanger • Arkansas News Bureau