Arkansas State gives Roberts contract extension

JONESBORO, Ark. -- Arkansas State University coach Steve Roberts has been granted a contract extension after the school's first winning season in a decade and first trip to a Division I-A bowl game.

The extension will pay Roberts $140,000 a year and run through the 2010 season. It includes a personal services agreement. The total package places Roberts' salary at mid-range level among Sun Belt Conference football coaches, the school said.

ASU's Board of Trustees approved the contract Friday.

"Being Sun Belt Conference champions, as well as academic champions, and then representing Arkansas State University in the New Orleans Bowl -- that is the excellence we seek for our athletic department," ASU athletic director Dean Lee said. "It's a wonderful tribute to Steve, his coaches and the support staff he has assembled."

Roberts and his staff led ASU to a 6-5 overall record and 5-2 mark in league play. For his efforts, Roberts was selected conference coach of the year.

It was ASU's first winning football season since 1995 and first conference title since 1986. Also, the Indians had their first perfect record in Indian Stadium in 19 years in 2005, and this season marks the first time in 35 years that ASU is playing in a bowl game.

Roberts was hired Dec. 21, 2001.

ASU meets Southern Mississippi on Tuesday in the New Orleans Bowl at Lafayette, La. The game will be televised live on ESPN.