Six of LSU’s nine assistant football coaches have contracts that expire after this season, including defensive coordinator John Chavis.
Chavis’ three-year deal ends Dec. 31, — possibly before LSU’s bowl game and two months before national signing day. Assistants Frank Wilson (running backs and recruiting coordinator), Adam Henry (receivers), Corey Raymond (defensive backs), Brick Haley (defensive line) and Steve Ensminger (tight ends) have three-year contracts that end March 31, 2015.
Copies of the contracts were obtained through a public records request.
In the past, many of the assistants have had previous contracts renewed following the expiration of their deals.
“Contracts will be discussed at the conclusion of the season,” LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said in a message to The Advocate earlier this week.
LSU has the highest-paid staff in the nation, according to information from USA Today. Staff members got richer when the Tigers won a sixth game two weeks ago to become bowl-eligible.
The staff will make a combined $215,000 in incentives for reaching a bowl game and could make more depending on the bowl destination. Head coach Les Miles has the largest bowl-game bonus at $50,000.
Chavis, in his sixth year with the Tigers, received a $200,000 built-in raise after last season, pushing his annual salary to $1.3 million. His previous three-year deal also ended on the last day of the year in 2011. It was renewed that spring.
The contracts of the five position coaches have an automatic one-year renewal at the end of their deals unless the school terminates the contract.
Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has a contract running through the 2015 season, and first-year assistant coaches Jeff Grimes (offensive line) and Bradley Dale Peveto (special teams) have three-year deals that run through the 2016 season.
No. 16 LSU (7-2, 3-2 Southeastern Conference) hosts No. 3 Alabama (7-1, 4-1) on Saturday. Both are off this week.
For two and a half quarters, Kenny Hilliard waited patiently for his first carry against Ole Miss.
He kept his focus on the game as fellow running backs Leonard Fournette and Terrence Magee combined for 137 yards and 26 carries.
Then came the third drive of the third quarter.
“I was ready to go once (coach Frank Wilson) called my name,” Hilliard said. “I just took off with it.”
Hilliard ran for 11 yards on that first carry. He finished the game with 63 yards on 12 carries — all coming in the final quarter-and-a-half. Forty-seven of those yards came on LSU’s 95-yard game-winning drive.
So, yeah, it was worth the wait.
“You just get your adrenaline pumping,” Hilliard said. “I was just waiting on my moment.”
Beckwith’s key stop
Kendell Beckwith didn’t realize how crucial his tackle was until after the play.
Beckwith, LSU’s starting middle linebacker, popped Ole Miss running back I’Tavius Mathers hard enough to knock him a yard short of a first down on third-and-2. It came on the Rebels’ second-to-last drive in the 10-7 loss to LSU.
The Tigers stuffed quarterback Bo Wallace on a hurry-up sneak on fourth-and-1 on the next play.
“I just saw an opportunity to hit him. I didn’t know he was so close to getting the first down,” Beckwith said of the third down. “I looked up afterwards, and he was close.”
Beckwith had been coming on a blitz on the play but pulled back from the line at the last minute as he saw Wallace hand to Mathers. He darted for the running back and hit him short of the line to gain.
On the next play, Beckwith hit Ole Miss’ center to stop “him from getting a surge,” he said. Wallace had to bounce it outside, where Jermauria Rasco made the tackle for no gain.
“That’s the type of games you dream for — atmosphere, the types of plays happening,” Beckwith said.
Ole Miss got to the line so quick on that fourth-down sneak that the Tigers couldn’t get in a defensive call. It didn’t matter, though.
“The hurry-up sneak: We hurried up; there was no sneak,” Miles said on his radio show this week.
Keehn Ray Guy candidate
LSU punter Jamie Keehn is one of 80 candidates for the Ray Guy Award, a yearly honor given to the nation’s best punter.
Keehn averages 45 yards a punt, good for second in the SEC. Keehn has hit punts of 64, 62 and 59 yards this season.
The list of 80 candidates will be narrowed to 10 semifinalists to be announced Nov. 14. Following the semifinalists announcement, a national body of sports information directors, coaches, media members and previous Ray Guy Award winners will vote for the top three finalists, who will be announced Nov. 24. The voting body will then cast ballots to select the winner.