Miles gets seven-year deal with Nebraska

New basketball coach Tim Miles signed the longest coach’s contract in Nebraska history with his seven-year deal that pays a starting salary of $1.4 million and increases to $2.15 million by 2018-19.

Miles signed the contract May 4 and the university made it public Friday, seven weeks after he was hired away from Colorado State.

”I had a great job where I was, and we were looking for something that shows commitment back and forth,” Miles said. ”It was a good term for both parties and a term that showed me that Nebraska is serious about getting this going on the right track.”

The longest previous contract for a Nebraska coach was the six-year deal signed by former football coach Bill Callahan in 2004.

Miles took over a program that hasn’t won a share of a conference championship since 1950 or played in the NCAA tournament since 1998. The Huskers have never won a game in six NCAA appearances.

”There was some perception that somehow we weren’t committed to basketball here, not so much on Tim’s part but among some of the people we interviewed,” athletic director Tom Osborne said. ”We wanted to send a pretty strong message that we’re in this for the long haul. We thought Tim was a good fit.”

Miles’ salary ranks eighth among Big Ten coaches, according to published reports.

His contract includes incentives that pay him bonuses of $75,000 if the Cornhuskers win 20 games in a season, $100,000 if they win a Big Ten regular-season or tournament title and $150,000 if they make the NCAA tournament.

He’s guaranteed a minimum raise of $125,000 each year, two vehicles for personal use and a country-club membership. Miles’ wife, Kari, is allowed to travel at athletic-department expense to away games and conventions. The athletic department also will pay for the travel of the immediate families of Miles and his assistant coaches to NCAA tournament games in which Nebraska participates.

Miles is promised a pool of $720,000 to pay three assistant coaches, and each is guaranteed a two-year contract.

The 45-year-old Miles, who replaced Doc Sadler, coached Colorado State to a 20-12 record last season and their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2003.

Nebraska paid the $350,000 buyout for Miles’ Colorado State contract and will pay his family’s expenses for moving to Lincoln from Fort Collins, Colo.

If Miles resigns to take another job in college or pro basketball, Nebraska will be owed damages in decreasing amounts over the contract term. The amount goes down $100,000 a year, starting from $1 million if Miles leaves before March 31, 2013.

If Miles is fired without cause, he’ll be owed $75,000 a month for each month left on his contract. Those payments would stop if he finds a job that pays $900,000 or more. The amount owed by the university would be prorated if his next job pays less than $900,000.

”Tim had a good situation at Colorado State, with an excellent team returning, and the administration there made a strong push to keep him,” Osborne said. ”He probably could have finished his career at Colorado State, but I think he recognized the potential to build a strong program at Nebraska. Tim has already built momentum in our program in the short time he has been here.”