Miles decides to remain with LSU

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BATON ROUGE, LA. (AP) - Les Miles has decided to try to build on the success he’s having at LSU rather than rebuild Michigan, the team for which he once played.

“The want and need to stand by my commitment to the team that I coach and the school that I represent really overshadowed any other consideration,” Miles said Tuesday. “The business that we’re doing is affecting people’s lives, playing for championships, encouraging a degree, setting people on a path that will benefit them. I think that happened for me at Michigan and hopefully it’s happening for others at LSU.”

Miles told LSU athletic director Joe Alleva of his decision on Tuesday morning before he traveled to Dallas for a previously scheduled speaking engagement at an American Football Coaches Association gathering. During his opening remarks, Miles lightheartedly told his audience, “The reports of my departure are greatly exaggerated.”

A day earlier, Miles had spent several hours meeting with Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon, who flew to Baton Rouge on Monday to talk to discuss the Wolverines’ open head coaching job.

Although Alleva did not object to Miles meeting with his alma mater, he said LSU also had been working to persuade Miles to stay put.

Les has led this program to many great successes on the field and his players represent LSU well off the field,” Alleva said after announcing Miles‘ plans to remain. “We look forward to many great years of LSU football under his leadership.”

Hours after LSU announced Miles‘ decision, Michigan named San Diego State’s Brady Hoke as its next coach.

Miles said he was pleased to learn of Hoke’s hiring and added that he will continue to “root very strongly for my alma mater.”

Miles declined to discuss specifics of his conversations with Brandon, including whether he was offered the job. He only praised Brandon for his work at Michigan.

Former Colorado coach and Michigan assistant Bill McCartney, one of Miles‘ coaching mentors, said he sent an e-mail to Miles on Monday imploring him to take the Michigan job.

“I wrote, ‘From one Michigan man to another, go build them back up,’” McCartney said Tuesday in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “I’m really disappointed he didn’t take the premier job in all of sports.”

McCartney, who took Miles with him from Michigan to Colorado in 1982, said it was “semantics” whether Miles was officially offered the job by athletic director Dave Brandon during their face-to-face meeting Monday in Baton Rouge.

“When you get on a plane with your wife to go talk to a guy like Dave Brandon did, you’re showing respect and you’re showing you’re very interested,” McCartney said. “I tried to tell Les to take the job, but obviously he didn’t and I can’t and won’t hide my disappointment.”

Miles chose to keep the great job he’s got at LSU in the Southeastern Conference, which has provided the winners of the last five BCS championships _ including one by Miles and the Tigers.

He has a 62-17 record and five bowl victories during six seasons with the Tigers, who are set up for more success next season.

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