LSU football officially introduces Dave Aranda as defensive coordinator


The LSU football team introduced the newest addition to its coaching staff on Tuesday morning: defensive coordinator Dave Aranda.

When former LSU defensive coordinator Kevin Steele left to take the same position with SEC West rival Auburn, athletic director Joe Alleva told head coach Les Miles to go and find the best available defensive coach he could find.

Luckily, Miles already had someone in mind.

“Most of our work was done last year, and we interviewed a number of guys,” Miles said late Tuesday morning. “The absolute star was Dave Aranda.”

Dave Aranda, the 39-year old former Wisconsin defensive coordinator, was officially announced as the heir to the LSU defensive coordinator position last Friday, and was introduced to the media and fans at his introductory press conference on Tuesday at 10 a.m CT.

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Aranda has been all over the college football map, coaching defense at schools such as Hawaii and Utah State, in addition to Wisconsin.

What is most impressive is that Aranda’s Wisconsin defense ranked No. 1 in the country in points allowed this past year.

At his introductory press conference, Aranda gave the customary compliments to his former employers back in Madison, Wis., as well as the appropriate flatteries to his new employers in Baton Rouge.

“Well, I’m blessed and I’m humbled,” said Aranda. “It’s always been a goal of mine to coach in this league and to be coaching for Coach Miles, who I have so much respect for and want to say thank you for this opportunity. I’m excited about the future.”

After the opening flatteries and farewells, LSU football fans and the media received excellent insight into how Aranda plans on coaching the defense.

“Smart aggression,” Aranda replied when he was asked what the style of defense he would employ. “I think you want to be aggressive on defense. I think you want to play with an offensive mindset, but you want to be able to do it in a way that’s intelligent.”

Aranda made it clear that he wants to put his talented new group of defensive players in the best possible scenario to have success on the field. He plans on doing so by exploiting the mismatches within opposing offenses.

“I’m really excited to try to be able to try to get them in mismatches. I think so much of it is trying to match guys,” Aranda said. “If you take a defensive lineman and you get him in a spot to where he can win one-on-one, or you get a linebacker in a spot to where he can get in a spot to win one-on-one, I’m excited to find those one-on-ones and use our guys.”

Aranda went on to further simplify his belief in the importance of mismatches, claiming he will match up LSU’s best players with his opponent’s worst, and ‘do it over and over and over again.’

Having played Wisconsin while Aranda coached there, Miles fully comprehends the difficulty of having to offensively scheme against a defense coached by Aranda.

“Having run through and see his defense firsthand, I could virtually off of the games experienced, tell him what his defense was like to go against,” Miles said. “We were fortunate to finish on top in the one match that we had with him, but that defense was the toughest defense for us to scheme and to go against on the year.”

Aranda fully praised the depth of his roster, claiming there were playmakers on all three levels of the defense. He was especially complimentary toward the depth and speed of the secondary. Aranda believes the LSU defensive backs will be able to play man coverage against opposing receivers, and ‘dictate terms’ against them.

He was also impressed with the depth of the defensive line, as well as the multitude of proficient pass rushers now at his disposal.

It is currently unclear whether Aranda will be a position coach as well, or a ‘stand around guy’. He is currently discussing this with Miles, and is comfortable with both roles.

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At the end of the press conference, Miles also made some comments regarding the status of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. Miles fully expects Cameron to be back as offensive coordinator next season, and does not see any other coaching changes on the offensive side of the ball.