AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) -Buffalo coach Turner Gill received a contract extension on Tuesday that could keep the former Heisman Trophy finalist with the Bulls through 2012.
Gill, who had been a candidate for the Nebraska head coaching position in December before the Cornhuskers chose Bo Pelini, was entering the third year of his original five-year deal that paid him about $190,000 per season, before bonuses.
``I am extremely pleased to reward Turner's outstanding efforts in this way,'' Buffalo athletic director Warde Manuel said in a statement released by the university. ``He has brought to our football program a winning mentality, stability, confidence, and a true vision for excellence both on and off the field.''
In two years, Gill has turned around one of the worst programs in the country. The Bulls finished 5-7 in 2007 - including a school-record 5-3 Mid-American Conference mark - the most wins they've have since moving up to Division I-A in 1999. They had won just 12 games overall since '99.
Gill, chosen as the MAC coach of the year, directed an offense that scored 291 points, the most in its I-A history and just 28 points shy of the school record.
``I am grateful to President John Simpson and Warde Manuel for extending my contract and their commitment to both myself and the football program,'' Gill said. ``It is great to know they are as committed to the staff as we are to them. I feel very honored to be at this outstanding university.''
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but Gill's new salary is expected to put him in the top tier of MAC coaches.

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