LSU Football: Ed Orgeron admits making a mistake, but stops short of regret

[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Sec Media Days Ed Orgeron
[Staff Photo/Gary Cosby Jr.]Sec Media Days Ed Orgeron /

LSU football head coach Ed Orgeron admitted on Monday that he made a mistake after the Tigers won the 2019 national championship.

But he stopped short of saying he would do things differently if given a second chance.

Orgeron was asked on Monday during his appearance at SEC media days about his decision to hire Bo Pelini to replace Dave Aranda as LSU’s defensive coordinator.

Pelini was hired after Aranda left Baton Rouge for Baylor.

The hiring of Pelini was widely praised at the time.

But the move ultimately didn’t work out very well for Orgeron and the Tigers.

LSU’s defense allowed 34.9 points per game last season (No. 98 in the nation) after allowing only 21.9 points per game in 2019 (No. 32 in the nation).

Ed Orgeron’s response to questions about Bo Pelini

The mistake that Orgeron admitted to making was not formally interviewing Pelini before offering him the job.

“When I hired Bo, it was not a formal interview,” said Orgeron on Monday (via 247Sports). “I believed in him, and it just didn’t work. I said I would never do that again.”

While Orgeron obviously regrets the way he went about hiring Pelini, he said an in-person interview with the former Nebraska head coach wouldn’t have dissuaded him from making the same decision.

“If I’d have interviewed Bo Pelini face to face, I would have still hired him,” explained Orgeron. “There would have been no question about that because of his reputation and because of the guy I knew.”

Sometimes hires just don’t work out. For whatever reason, Pelini wasn’t a good fit on Coach O’s staff. Fortunately, both parties recognized it wasn’t a good fit and they amicably split.

Orgeron hired Minnesota Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones this offseason to replace Pelini as LSU’s defensive coordinator.

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Jones is expected to bring some much-needed youthful energy to the Tigers’ coaching staff.

Hiring Jones, however, is still a bit of a gamble. His only defensive coordinator experience came over a decade ago at Bowie State, a CIAA program.