Dec. 27, 2004 wire reports

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville has agreed in principle to a new seven-year contract worth $16 million.

Tuberville, the AP Coach of the Year this year, led the third-ranked Tigers to a 12-0 regular season and its first Southeastern Conference championship in 15 years. They are playing Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 3

"We have almost finished a new contract, and I'm excited about that," Tuberville said Monday after his team arrived in New Orleans for its bowl game. "I'm excited about the future."

The extension is a far cry from last season when it became public that Auburn officials, including the university president, had covertly courted Louisville coach Bobby Petrino to replace Tuberville.

"We just now got our program going in full swing, and there's not a better place in the country to live and work and coach football," Tuberville said. "And I'm excited about being at Auburn long time."

The Associated Press News Service

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