As speculation swirls about Les Miles’ future at LSU, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has come out to publicly to voice his support for the head football coach.
“(Miles) is a great coach and a better man,” Jindal tweeted Saturday, just hours before LSU takes the field against Texas A&M for its final regular season game. “He is a fantastic ambassador for our state. I hope he remains our coach.”
Jindal’s popularity has been lagging in Louisiana, but as governor, he has appointed the powerful LSU Board of Supervisors, which oversees the university.
Jindal and Miles are known to be friendly. Miles even attended a fundraiser to kick off Jindal’s ultimately failed presidential campaign.
Multiple national reports Monday confirmed The Advocate’s report last week that Miles was coaching for his job in the last two games against Ole Miss and A&M and that his tenure at the school was in jeopardy of ending.
LSU lost 38-17 to Ole Miss last week, marking the first three-game losing skid since 1999. LSU athletic director Joe Alleva has declined comment until after the season. Miles has said he’s not been told anything about his job status.
The Tigers (7-3, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) host Texas A&M (8-3, 4-3) on Saturday night at Tiger Stadium in the regular season finale. LSU is attempting to get a win for the first time in more than a month and hush the reports surrounding their embattled coach.
Miles, in his last meeting with reporters on Wednesday, declined to defend himself and said he hoped to be at LSU “another 11 years.” An emotional Miles’ radio show followed Wednesday night, where adults wept while asking Miles questions at TJ Ribs, site of the call-in show.
Miles has provided no real answers about his job status, and LSU players have openly defended their coach.
Miles has the best winning percentage (.774) of any coach in the past 100 years of LSU football, and he’s won a national title and two SEC championships. The Tigers currently have the No. 2-ranked recruiting class for 2016 and, just three weeks ago, were 7-0 and No. 2 nationally.
Miles, though, is in the midst of his rockiest two seasons as coach. LSU went 8-5 last year, tied for the worst mark in his tenure, and the Tigers have dropped three straight games by double-digit margins – the first time that’s happened since 1966.
Miles has a contract that runs through 2019, paying him $4.3 million and including a buyout of $15 million. The buyout will be off-set if Miles gets another job, and it can be paid out over eight years. According to USA Today, the buyout could be as little as $11 million. USA Today cites an interpretation of the contract. Sources have told The Advocate that Miles’ buyout is a non-issue.