LSU football made a big hire immediately after winning the national championship in January.
When rumors started circulating that Aranda was a head coaching candidate at various programs (Aranda eventually landed the Baylor head coaching gig), I immediately thought it was bad news for the Tigers.
Aranda wasn’t a dominant defensive coordinator at LSU by any means. But he possesses an extremely bright defensive mind, and the Tigers’ defense was good enough with him at the helm.
With LSU already replacing a load of talent, plus passing game coordinator Joe Brady, it didn’t seem like a positive that the defensive play-caller would also need to be replaced. Continuity is important in sports — especially in college football.
Despite those concerns, the Tigers managed to upgrade at defensive coordinator by bringing in Pelini, the former Nebraska head coach who spent three seasons under Les Miles as LSU’s defensive coordinator from 2005-2007.
And it’s a move that stood out as one of the best coordinator hires during the offseason.
LSU football’s decision to hire Pelini stands out as great move
Adam Gorney and Mike Farrell of Rivals recently pointed out ten coordinator hires that stood out this offseason and they included Coach O’s hiring of Pelini.
“He’s outlandish and off-putting, but he’s a great coach and knows defense,” wrote Farrell.
“There is no questioning Pelini’s coaching ability or his success at every stop during his career,” added Gorney.
Pelini has a reputation for being “fiery”, but Orgeron doesn’t think his approach will be an issue at LSU.
“I think they’re going to love it. Obviously there are several ways to coach, and everybody has to coach within their own demeanor. I love the way he coaches,” said Orgeron earlier this offseason when discussing the addition of Pelini (via The Advocate).
Coach O proved last offseason that he knows how to make program changing hires (by hiring Brady, who revolutionized the Tigers’ offense). It’s certainly possible that hiring Pelini could have the same type of effect on LSU’s defense.