LSU Football: 5 options to replace Dave Aranda as Tigers’ DC

LSU football will have a new defensive coordinator in 2020.

LSU football lost another valuable assistant on Thursday as defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is reportedly set to become the new head coach at Baylor, replacing Matt Rhule.

Aranda joined LSU’s staff in 2016. He was retained after Ed Orgeron became the permanent head coach in late 2016.

That means this will be the first defensive coordinator hire that Orgeron’s had to make since becoming the head coach at LSU.

Here are five coaches that could be options for Coach O as he looks for his next defensive coordinator.

Corey Raymond — LSU DB’s coach

If Orgeron wants to go internal, he should consider Corey Raymond.

Raymond played at LSU and he’s served on the Tigers’ coaching staff since 2012. Promoting Raymond, who has helped develop nine NFL draft picks in the secondary, would provide LSU with some continuity. It would be hard to find someone that knows LSU better (plus he’s a Louisiana native).

Charlie Strong — former Texas head coach

Charlie Strong has plenty of SEC experience. He’s served as a defensive coordinator at Florida and South Carolina. He’s also coached at Ole Miss.

And Strong has been a head coach at three different programs (Louisville, Texas and South Florida).

There aren’t any natural connections between Orgeron and Strong, but I have no doubt he’d be a solid fit at LSU.

Charles Kelly — Alabama safeties coach/associate defensive coordinator

Charles Kelly was considered valuable enough that Nick Saban poached him from Tennessee’s staff last offseason. He previously served as Florida State’s defensive coordinator.

Kelly also has a small Louisiana connection — he coached at Nicholls State from 2002-05 (he served as defensive coordinator for two of those seasons).

The current Alabama assistant played college football at Auburn.

Brian Baker — Alabama defensive line coach

Baker, who has coached for 19 seasons in the NFL, would bring plenty of experience to LSU. He has SEC experience as well at Alabama and Mississippi State. The only downside here is that Baker has never served as a defensive coordinator before, but he certainly has been around the game long enough to warrant a look.

Mike Ekeler — Kansas special teams coordinator

Ekeler has to be mentioned here for several reasons. Ekeler, who is currently on Les Miles’ staff at Kansas, was a graduate assistant at LSU from 2005-07. He also worked with Coach O at USC in 2013 as the Trojans’ linebackers coach. Ekeler has also been a linebackers coach at North Carolina, a defensive coordinator at North Texas and a co-defensive coordinator at Indiana.

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