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Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Huskers coach's deal extended through 2011 season

ESPN.com news services

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Nebraska and Bill Callahan have agreed on a three-year contract extension that will take the Cornhuskers football coach through the 2011 season.

Callahan's new contract will run through Jan. 31, 2012. Callahan's old contract was to run through 2008.

Bill Callahan
Bill Callahan remained the fourth-highest paid coach in the Big 12 with his new contract extension with Nebraska.

Callahan is 23-15 in four seasons with the Cornhuskers, winning the Big 12 North championship last year.

"In terms of what he's done for the program, he has certainly met or exceeded my expectations at this juncture," athletic director Steve Pederson said Tuesday.

The 51-year-old Callahan signed a six-year contract paying him $1.5 million a season when he was hired in January 2004.

Under the new contract, Callahan can earn $425,000 in bonuses annually for winning division, conference and national championships, Pederson said Tuesday.

"I have said on numerous occasions that we want coach Callahan to be the coach at Nebraska for a long time," Pederson said. "This commitment to Bill and his staff is a result of our belief that all the right ingredients are in place for long-term success. Bill has assembled a top-notch staff, and they are recruiting outstanding young men. He also has set a very high standard for discipline, integrity and work ethic that makes us proud as Nebraskans."

No. 20 Nebraska opened its season Saturday with a 52-10 victory over Nevada. The Huskers play at Wake Forest this Saturday, a prelude to their much-anticipated matchup against top-ranked USC on Sept. 15 in Lincoln.

Terms were reached last week and Callahan signed the contract Tuesday.

Callahan remains the fourth-highest paid coach in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma's Bob Stoops ($3.45 million), Texas' Mack Brown ($2.91 million) and Texas A&M's Dennis Franchione ($2.01 million).

Callahan said he doesn't worry about where his compensation ranks.

"I never got into coaching for all these things," he said. "I coach because I enjoy coaching. I've never looked at coaching as about money, about the next job. I always did the best job I could in the situation I was in, and things always worked out better for myself and my family."

Callahan thanked Pederson and UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman for the new deal.

"It reflects greatly on our football staff," Callahan said. "I wanted to be here, and I am committed to being at Nebraska."

Perlman said he's as comfortable with Callahan today as he was the day Callahan was hired.

"We've always said it's not exclusively a question of wins and losses, but the trend is moving in the right direction," Perlman said.

Perlman said the new contract should help give prospective recruits peace of mind about Callahan's future.

"That is a factor that plays into how you deal with a head coach, but we didn't do it to just protect recruiting," Perlman said. "We did it because we have confidence in Bill and the direction of the program."

Callahan coached the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl after the 2002 season. He was fired by the Raiders in 2003 and was hired by Pederson to replace Frank Solich.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.