On Saturday, November 26, LSU removed the tag “as interim head coach” for Ed Orgeron and just made him the head football coach. I have seen and heard from many of the LSU fans that he is “unfit” to be the head coach. What does that mean for him to be unfit? Many claim that because of what he did at Ole Miss he will just repeat the losing record at LSU. Coach O went 10-25 with his overall record for his first head coach stint at Ole Miss. Do we really want to judge someone on their first head coach job?
Nick Saban before coming to LSU had just completed 5 seasons at Michigan State where he had compiled 34-24-1 record with his best season coming in 1999, before resigning to take the LSU head coaching job, with a 9-2 record. Before coming to LSU he had coached his teams in only three bowl games and had never won a bowl nor a conference championship.
Les Miles, before coming to LSU had just been head coach for Oklahoma State for four seasons with a career record 28-21-1 with no conference championships and only one bowl game win coming in 2002 at the Houston Bowl. To his credit, he did take OSU to three bowl games before joining the tigers.
As we look back onto these two legendary coaches, both were long shots for LSU. Both of these coaches, Miles and Saban, took LSU to National Championships, conference championships, and bowl games.
So how am I comparing Ed Orgeron with Nick Saban and Les Miles when both of these coaches have been consistent winners while Orgeron was not in his first head coaching stint. Since coach O was fired from Ole Miss, he has a 11-4 record as interim head coach at USC and LSU.
Several things that coach O does bring to LSU that neither Nick nor Les brought to LSU are his ability to recruit Louisiana players. As a native of South Louisiana and a graduate of Northwestern State, he knows what young Louisiana men want and how to bring them to LSU. I feel that this will only make LSU a stronger team since LSU has been loosing big recruits to other top schools nationally the past several years. LSU should not be competing with out of state Universities for the home talent. Now that the secret is out about how talent rich Louisiana is, every college or university comes to Louisiana to recruit. Coach O just needs to sure up the offense, and find someone that can develop quarterbacks and LSU will be a national champion once again.
Only one question remains now, has coach O learned from his mistakes from his days at Ole Miss? If so how high is the sky if the sky is the limit?
The following is the statement from LSU after the hiring of coach O.
Ed Orgeron, who led the Tigers to a 5-2 mark as interim coach over the past two months, has been named LSU’s head football coach, vice chancellor and director of athletics Joe Alleva announced on Saturday.
Orgeron, a native of Larose, Louisiana, becomes the 33rd head football coach in LSU history. Orgeron, who has also served as head coach at Ole Miss and Southern Cal, is 11-4 in his past 15 games as a head coach, which includes a 6-2 mark as interim coach at USC.
“This is a great day for LSU and for all of Louisiana,” Alleva said. “We got our man and he’s been here all along. Coach Orgeron has demonstrated his ability to run this program with excellence, even under difficult circumstances. Coach ‘O’ earned this job.
“I worked closely with (LSU) President Alexander and board leadership throughout a very deliberate process. By the end of that process, our decision was clear. Coach Orgeron took us step by step through every aspect of his plans for this program and there was no question that he is the man to lead LSU football.”
Since taking over as interim coach of the Tigers on Sept. 25, Orgeron guided LSU to a 5-2 mark, beating four Southeastern Conference opponents – Missouri, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Texas A&M – all by double-digits. LSU’s two losses during that span came by a total of 16 points as the Tigers held top-ranked Alabama scoreless for three quarters and came up a yard short in falling to Florida, 16-10.
In seven games under Orgeron, LSU set offensive records for most yards in a SEC game (634 vs. Missouri), longest scoring play from scrimmage (Derrius Guice 96-yard TD run vs. Arkansas), and twice set the school single-game rushing record (Leonard Fournette 284 yards vs. Ole Miss, Derrius Guice 285 yards vs. Texas A&M).
Defensively, LSU held opponents scoreless for 14 of 28 quarters under Orgeron and limited the opposition to an average of 10.3 points per game over the seven contests. With 39 points, Texas A&M became the only team to score more than 21 points against LSU this year. Overall, LSU’s defense, under Dave Aranda, ranks in the top three in the SEC in three major categories – scoring, total defense and rushing defense.
Orgeron originally joined the Tiger staff in 2015 as defensive line coach, before adding the title of recruiting coordinator in the spring of 2016.
In his first year with the Tigers in 2015, Orgeron’s defensive front served as a catalyst for a Tiger defense that ranked No. 3 in the SEC in both rushing yards (122.9 yards per game) and sacks (34). Six times in 2015 LSU’s defense help opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing in a game, including limiting Mississippi State to 43 yards in the season-opener and Texas Tech to 29 in the Texas Bowl.
Prior to joining the LSU staff, Orgeron’s last coaching stop came at Southern Cal where he served as recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach for the Trojans for four years (2010-13). Orgeron was elevated to interim head coach at USC for the final eight games of the 2013 season, leading the Trojans to a 6-2 mark over that span.
As a player, Orgeron was a four-year starter on the defensive line for Northwestern State, captaining the Demons as a senior. He received his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Northwestern State in 1984.
He starred in football, basketball and track at South Lafourche High in Galliano, La. On the big screen, Orgeron played himself in the 2009 Oscar-nominated movie, “The Blind Side.”
Born July 27, 1961, he and his wife, Kelly, have three sons, Tyler, and twins Parker and Cody. Tyler is a member of the LSU football support staff, while twins Parker and Cody are in their first year as part of the McNeese State football team.
Ed Orgeron File
Year at LSU: Second (appointed Jan. 14, 2015)
Birthdate: July 27, 1961, in Larose, La.
Children: Tyler, Parker, Cody
High School: South Lafourche High School (Galliano, La.)
College: Northwestern State (La.), 1984
1981-84 Northwestern (La.) State (defensive line)
1984 Northwestern (La.) State (graduate assistant)
1985 McNeese State (graduate assistant)
1986-87 Arkansas (assistant strength coach)
1988-92 Miami (Fla.) (graduate assistant, 1988; defensive line 1989-92)
1994 Nicholls State (linebackers)
1995-97 Syracuse (defensive line)
1998-2004 Southern Cal (defensive line, 1998-2002; recruiting coordinator, 2001-04)
2005-07 Ole Miss (head coach)
2008 New Orleans Saints (defensive line)
2009 Tennessee (defensive line/recruiting coordinator)
2010-12 Southern Cal (defensive coordinator/defensive line/recruiting coordinator, 2010-13; interim head coach, 2013)
2015-16 LSU (defensive line; recruiting coordinator, 2016; interim head coach, Sept. 25, 2016, head coach, Nov. 26, 2016)