Houston's Tony Levine signs new five-year deal

Tony Levine oversaw a three-game improvement from 2012 to 2013. (USATSI)
Tony Levine oversaw a three-game improvement from 2012 to 2013. (USATSI)

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After a bounce-back 2013 season, Houston coach Tony Levine has been rewarded with a new five-year contract, the Cougars announced Tuesday.

The deal extends Levine's contract through the 2018 season and replaces his previous agreement, which was signed in 2012 and ran through 2017. Per the Houston Chronicle, Levine received a $125,000-per-season pay raise that takes his annual salary to $925,000.

"I am very humbled by the opportunity to lead the University of Houston football program. I'm also very appreciative of and thankful for the commitment shown by our University and its administration as we continue to grow and elevate our football program," Levine said in a statement. "With our Tier One academic program and the new stadium, we have a very positive outlook for our program's long-term success. Houston is home for my family and me, and we look forward to many more years of making great memories here."

After playing their final games in venerable Robertson Stadium in 2012, the Cougars will open their new 40,000-seat on-campus stadium this August.

The stadium opening could be another boost for Levine, who needed a few after going a disappointing 5-7 in his first season after being promoted to replace Kevin Sumlin. But behind a revamped defense that finished 34th in FBS yards per-play allowed, the Cougars recovered to go 8-4 in the 2013 regular season, finishing fourth in the AAC (behind UCF, Louisville and Cincinnati) and earning a BBVA Compass Bowl berth.

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