LSU had already begun negations to have Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher replace Les Miles at the head coach position when the school’s president, F. King Alexander, began to intervene in favor of keeping Miles, reports The Advocate.
Sources told The Advocate that the the discussion of keeping Miles actually began as early as last Wednesday, before the Tigers defeated Texas A&M 19–7 on Saturday. The LSU Board of Supervisors made the decision to retain Miles during halftime of the game.
As LSU struggles with budget issues, the cost of the deal with Fisher coupled with the $15 million buyout Miles would have been owed had the school terminated his contract swayed Alexander and other university officials against parting ways with their current coach.
“After the type of budget battle we went through this past spring, we certainly do not need to be throwing tens of millions of dollars around under certain circumstances,” Alexander said.
Miles also had support from many of the members on the Board of Supervisors. The decision was reportedly split, with many members wanting to keep the second-winningest coach in LSU’s history.
Governor of Louisiana Bobby Jindal, who is Miles’s friend, also contacted the school in an effort to convince officials to allow him to keep his job. He later told The Advocate that the school made the right decision to keep Miles.
Alexander told the Baton Rouge Business report that the the decision to retain Miles was made days before the game against the Aggies and that it was joint effort among him, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva and the board members.
Miles has coached at LSU since 2005, posting a 111–32 record overall. Under Miles, the Tigers won the national championship in 2007.
Fisher coached at LSU for seven season, serving as the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator from 2000-06. He took over as head coach of the Seminoles in 2010.
- Xandria James