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Tollner agrees to 10-year contract

February 4, 1997

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Ted Tollner, who has coached San Diego State’s football team to consecutive eight-victory seasons, agreed Monday to terms of a guaranteed 10-year contract.

``I feel fortunate,″ Tollner said. ``Yet to me it’s also motivating. It’s a commitment made by the administration, and I want to do everything in my power for it to be a good decision. When someone shows confidence in you, you want to continue to earn that confidence.″

The contract is expected to be signed in the next 30 days.

Tollner, 56, is 20-14 in three seasons at the Western Athletic Conference school. He was named head coach on Dec. 3, 1993, shortly after Al Luginbill was fired. Star running back Marshall Faulk and receiver Darnay Scott left for the NFL the next spring, and the Aztecs fell to 4-7 in 1994.

They rebounded to finish 8-4 in 1995 and 8-3 last season, but neither record was good enough to get the Aztecs into a bowl game.

``We need to win the championship in our conference,″ Tollner said. ``There’s a lot of upside. There’s still the perception that we’re a marginal Division I program, and the only way to disprove that is be competitive and win in the WAC, and play the people that fans have the perception of being at a higher caliber and hold our own with them.″

The Aztecs have upgraded their non-conference schedule to include mostly Pac-10, Big Ten and Big 12 opponents.

``We feel very fortunate to have a person of Ted’s caliber represent this university as its head football coach,″ athletic director Rick Bay said. ``He brings all the ideal characteristics to our program as a coach and as a person.″

Tollner has seven years service as an NFL assistant coach, and the new contract is structured so he won’t have to go back to the NFL to earn enough time for a full pension. He’s due to receive between $300,000 and $350,000 in each of the first three years of the deal, including base pay, deferred pay and supplemental income. Bay is looking at extending that three-year period on an annual basis.

If Tollner were to leave in the first three years, he would have to pay a buyout equal to a year’s total compensation.

Tollner was head coach at Southern Cal from 1983-86, compiling a 26-20-1 record. He was SDSU’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 1973-80.

He was one of 26 survivors of the Cal Poly plane crash on Oct. 29, 1960, which killed 22 people, including 16 players.

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