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He stays

The negotiations between Auburn and head coach Tommy Tuberville came to a conclusion Tuesday night when Tuberville agreed to a two-year contract extension.

AP: Dave Martin
Tuberville will return from New York Wednesday.

Tuberville announced the agreement after a meeting with AU athletics director Jay Jacobs. Both were in New York for National Football Foundation Hall of Fame banquet.

“We’re very pleased with the success, hard work and efforts of Coach Tuberville and his staff,” Jacobs said. “Tommy and I worked patiently though this process and did what was best for Auburn. He has not only achieved success with a winning program, but has student-athletes that graduate and represent Auburn in the finest manner.”

The announcement ends more than a week of speculation as Tuberville’s name was linked to several prominent job openings including Texas A&M and Arkansas.

“I’m very appreciative for this extension and look forward to continuing the success that we’ve established at Auburn,” Tuberville said. “Auburn University is a great institution and we have an outstanding athletics department. We look forward to being at Auburn for a long time.

“I’d like to thank the best college football fans in the country, the Auburn fans and the Auburn family for their support and patience over the last few weeks. Myself and the entire coaching staff are excited about the past, present and especially the future of Auburn football.”

The extension will pay Tuberville $2.8 million in 2008 and increase by $200,000 each of the next five years. The six-year deal would average $3.3 million, maintaining Tuberville as one of the nation’s highest paid college football coaches.

The contract includes a buyout of $6 million in 2008, $5 million in 2009 and $4 million for the final four years of the contract.

According to the Birmingham News, Tuberville said the extension also brings security to his assistant coaches.

“We made sure the coaches are comfortable, and they are,” Tuberville said. “They’re excited about it.”

In nine years at Auburn, Tuberville has led the program to a 79-33 mark, including an 8-4 record in 2007. Under Tuberville, Auburn has made eight consecutive bowl appearances and posted a 41-9 mark since 2004, which is the seventh-best record among Football Bowl Subdivision teams during that span.

Since 2000, Auburn is tied for the best league record in the Southeastern Conference with a 48-17 mark. Tuberville led Auburn to a 17-10 victory over Alabama in its last game, extending the Tigers winning streak in the series to a school record six games.

Auburn faces Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on Dec. 31 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.

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