BOWLING GREEN - Curt Miller got a sweet new contract, but he'd earned it long before he led Bowling Green State University to the Sweet 16.
The discussions leading up to BGSU making Miller its highest-paid coach began before the postseason, when the Falcons were in the midst of their 39-game Mid-American Conference win streak.
His extension, which was first reported in The Blade, was announced yesterday by the school. Miller's contract was extended two years, through the 2012-13 season, and was restructured to pay him a base salary of $160,124.
The new salary is $124 more per year than the salary of Louis Orr, the Falcons' new men's basketball coach who was previously the highest paid.
It's a $40,000-per-year raise for Miller.
"I'm ecstatic and grateful to the administration. Their commitment has been tremendous," Miller said. "Their commitment before the magical run was outstanding. This was being discussed late in the season. This was not just a result of winning in the NCAAs."
The raise helped keep Miller in Bowling Green. He said yesterday he was offered the University of Cincinnati job late last month and he turned it down. Louisiana-Lafayette coach J. Kelley Hall was hired at Cincinnati last week.
"I've always said that I owe it to the family to listen to opportunities. I will continue to do that throughout my coaching career," Miller said. "I turned down the Cincinnati job offer because I didn't believe it was the best move for my family."
Miller is 124-60 in six seasons at BGSU, 59-7 over the past two years. The Falcons finished 15th in the final ESPN/USA Today Top 25 coaches poll this year, their highest-ever ranking.
"This move, plus other new
resources devoted to the program, is meant to show our commitment to women's basketball at BGSU," athletic director Greg Christopher said in a prepared statement. "Curt and his staff have done a remarkable job and we intend to maintain the program at the elite status in the MAC."
The reigning three-time MAC coach of the year, Miller also turned down the Colorado State job two years ago. In the midst of a busy recruiting period, he said this announcement will help him and his staff on the road.
"There are two things that go into recruiting against competition," Miller said. "Your competition is either saying you're on the verge of being fired or leaving.
"It's always better to be able to answer questions that people think you're always going to leave. The young recruits and their families have now seen twice that we have turned down job offers."
Miller said yesterday his new contract had not been signed because a few final details were still being worked out. Additional compensation for Miller's assistant coaches was not specified, but he said, "They will also benefit from the gracious offer from the university."
Miller also did not say what the "other new resources" Christopher referred to would be, but it could include the program being able to hire a director of operations or a graduate assistant.
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