"We're pleased to enter into an agreement with Jim Leavitt that secures him as our head football coach through 2014," said Woolard. "What his leadership has accomplished is unmatched in the country with regards to beginning and developing a nationally recognized football program. Our football program continues to be a great catalyst for helping to brand the University of South Florida and for bringing positive recognition to the entire Tampa Bay area. This extension is reflective of the market, is highly competitive within the Big East Conference and continues to demonstrate our commitment and our desire to provide the type of program our fans and alumni deserve."
The new extension increases Leavitt's annual compensation to $1.5 million in 2008, the highest in the BIG EAST. The new deals with apparel supplier Under Armour and the athletic department's multimedia rights holder, ISP Sports provided the extra funds for the extension, and no state funds were used in the increase of Leavitt's contract extension.
This past season the Bulls set a program record attendance average of 53,170 at Raymond James Stadium, the increase of 22,948 was the largest increase of attendance in the nation. Also several USF players received national acclaim. Defensive end George Selvie was the first USF consensus All-American, cornerback Mike Jenkins (first team All-America), Linebacker Ben Moffitt (third team All-American by the AP), and cornerback Trae Williams (multiple honorable mention All-America awards). All four are expected to be drafted into the NFL.
"I appreciate President Genshaft and Doug Woolard for allowing me to be a part of a great University and a great Athletic Department," said Leavitt. "I also appreciate the Tampa Bay community for all the support and I have to praise the outstanding coaches and players that have been with me throughout my tenure here. I can't imagine a better opportunity in this country. I'm excited about being a part of a program that should never take a back seat to any other."
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