A top Kansas football coaching candidate appears to have taken a big step toward returning to the sidelines next season.
Former LSU coach Les Miles agreed to a settlement with his previous school on Thursday; he will receive a one-time lump sum payment of $1.5 million after an original agreement would have paid him $6.5 million total through 2023.
“It’s time for both parties to move forward,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said Thursday in a 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.”
Alleva indicated that discussions for the agreement had taken place “over the course of several weeks.”
This appears to clear Miles fully for a return to coaching next season. Per his LSU contract, if Miles had accepted another position, the school would still have been responsible for any amount above what his new job was paying him.
Thursday’s agreement, then, simplifies things in that regard.
From the day that KU athletic director Jeff Long announced that football coach David Beaty would not be retained after this season, Miles’ name has been linked to KU.
Miles, who turned 65 on Saturday, has a career coaching record of 142-55 and also won a national championship with LSU in 2007.
In addition, Long is plenty familiar with Miles. The two worked together at Michigan from 1988-94 when Long was an administrator and Miles was an assistant coach. Current KU associate athletic director Mike Vollmar also was with Miles at Michigan while serving in an administrative position from 1988-90.
One other tie: Long, while serving as Arkansas’ athletic director, previously tried to hire Miles as Razorbacks’ coach in 2012.
CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported last week that Miles and KU had spoken about KU’s opening. Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger also wrote this week that Miles’ “courtship with Kansas is serious, and it is rooted in the coach’s close relationship with new Kansas athletic director Jeff Long.”
Miles, whether it’s at KU or not, at least appears to be readying himself for future employment in 2019.