The LSU coach, who won the BCS title in 2007 and has had three straight seasons with at least 10 wins, got a seven-year contract extension worth $4.3 million per year.
DAN PATRICK: Who's more important in recruiting—the mother or the father?
February 4, 2013
LES MILES: The decision maker—the person the young man has relied on for a lifetime, whether it's a father or a mother or a brother or an uncle or a coach.
DP: Do you scout out who that person is?
LM: You [describe the program] to everybody you meet, and you only hope you're touching the right person.
DP: Do you ever say anything negative about other schools?
LM: Absolutely not.
DP: Any interest in coaching in the NFL?
LM: I like the spot I'm in.
DP: Why college over the pros?
LM: As a college coach you have a calling, in that you're bringing a young guy in [and] preparing him for his career, whether it be the NFL or business. In recruiting, you have an opportunity to get more than one first-round draft pick. We're having a great year—we think there might be a number of first-round draft picks in [our] class.
DP: Did you consider taking the job at Arkansas?
LM: I had a great relationship with [AD Jeff Long]. He and I worked together at Michigan. I didn't travel to see him. [I'm] very happy at LSU.
DP: Why would you talk to him if you were happy at LSU?
LM: Because you have a longtime relationship with a man you respect professionally. He calls to describe what he's looking for, which could be another head-coaching candidate. You want to help.
DP: But I'd be angry as an LSU fan.
LM: The opportunity to talk about other coaches with a colleague ... I can't imagine LSU would be unhappy with that.
DP: Do you get along with Steve Spurrier?
LM: I think he's entertaining.
DP: Is part of your job to be entertaining?
LM: I'm confronted with that every time someone asks me a question—recognizing I'm responsible to my team and [can't] come off-the-cuff 100% of the time.
DP: What celebrity do people say you look like?
LM: Kurt Russell.
DP: I think Gene Hackman in Hoosiers. Do you give Hoosiers-like speeches?
LM: We [do] a little bit of that.
DP: Do you have a file of inspirational speeches you use?
LM: No. It's specific to our opponent and the position we're in [that] season.
DP: Do you wear your championship ring when you recruit?
LM: Yes. I take the ring off when I'm with my team. It's about this year.
DP: Will you go to the Super Bowl?
LM: I think so.
DP: Who will you root for?
LM: One of the Harbaughs.
DP: Would you ever consider running for governor of Louisiana?
LM: Absolutely not.
DP: Do you think you could have been elected after you won the national title?
LM: Absolutely not. But I would like the opportunity.
"It's not even a minority issue. This whole process is messed up. Twenty-one coaching changes in the last three years. The owners are looking for that superstar. [They need to] dig a little deeper. For minority candidates who are under the radar, it's just not happening."
—TONY DUNGY, NBC NFL analyst, on why no minority landed one of the eight vacant head-coaching jobs this off-season
Katie Couric told me she found Manti Te'o very believable in their nationally televised interview and understood how he could have been fooled. "I think he was a very naive, very young 21-year-old," Couric said, "who is very dependent on his family." ... Hall of Famer Dan Fouts thinks the NFL has found a new way to help offenses. "They could call holding every time, but [it's] not called as often since they moved the umpire to the [defensive] backfield," Fouts told me. "They miss a lot, which is O.K., because fans don't want to see penalties. They want to see touchdowns." ... Bob Costas told me how much he admired CBS's Shannon Sharpe for ripping Bill Belichick's refusal to do an interview after the Pats' loss in the AFC title game. "I'd vote for [Belichick] for the Hall of Fame," Costas said, "but you don't have to act the way he acts, treating [journalists] with disdain." ... NFL Network's Rich Eisen interviews coaches year-round and says they may know less about the Te'o hoax than most fans. "NFL coaches are in a pop-culture cave," Eisen said. "They have no idea what's going on."