LSU announced Thursday that it had agreed to a settlement with former football coach Les Miles, bringing his final contract with the university to a close and allowing “both parties to move forward."
LSU and Miles agreed to a lump-sum settlement that would pay the former Tigers coach $1.5 million of the remaining $6.5 million he was owed through 2023.
Miles, 65, lives in Baton Rouge, and reports have recently connected him to the coaching opening at the University of Kansas. It’s unclear if Thursday’s announcement is a sign that Miles is negotiating with Kansas, but the settlement frees up the opportunity for Miles to pursue another job.
“It’s time for both parties to move forward,” LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva said in a news release. “One of the challenges of the buyout that was in place was there just wasn’t a lot of incentive to move on to other things. We were looking to provide that and Coach Miles and his representatives also were ready. It was a mutually agreed upon goal and a very positive process from beginning to end.”
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Miles was fired after a 2-2 start in 2016, while he was still owed about $9.6 million on his contract. That $9.6 million sum was to be paid out in installments over a six-year period.
The guaranteed installments also brought up a potential question with future athletic programs about whether Miles' interest was genuine.
Under the contract, Miles had the “obligation” to seek out employment in order to receive the monthly payments, and the contract stipulated that the $9.6 million buyout would be mitigated if he found a new job and the payments would be offset against his new salary.
"In the event (Miles) obtains such other employment after being terminated," the contract says, "it shall be the duty and obligation of (Miles) to notify (LSU) that he has obtained other employment and to provide any and all reasonable documentation by (LSU) to determine the amount of compensation received by (Miles) and the amount of offset to which (LSU) is entitled."
Thursday's settlement between Miles and LSU got ahead of such a deliberation.
Former LSU football coach Les Miles is a front-runner for the Kansas head coaching position, according to The Athletic's Bruce Feldman.
Last season against Auburn in Tiger Stadium, Mies joined much of his 2007 national championship team at midfield. The crowd roared with approval as Miles and 70 players joined in the ceremony.
Miles finished with a record of 114-34 and a 77.0 winning percentage — tops among LSU coaches since the school joined the Southeastern Conference in 1933. He was 62-28 in SEC games, a winning percentage of 68.9, and he led the Tigers to a bowl game in each of his 11 full seasons.