LSU Football: Dream coaching staff for Brian Kelly

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

LSU football head coach Brian Kelly is slowly putting his first staff together in Baton Rouge.

On Tuesday, Football Scoop reported that Brian Polian will be joining Kelly’s staff at LSU.

Polian previously served as Notre Dame’s special teams coordinator. He’ll likely continue in that same role at LSU.

Before he was at Notre Dame, Polian was the head coach at Nevada for four seasons. He also has experience at Texas A&M and Stanford. Polian served as a graduate assistant under Nick Saban at Michigan State in 1997.

There are still plenty of possibilities for how Kelly could fill out his coaching staff.

Below is the dream scenario — what I think would be an ideal, but also realistic, coaching staff.

Offensive coordinator/wide receivers — Joe Brady

Bringing Joe Brady back to Baton Rouge to run the Tigers’ offense is a move that would be universally praised by LSU fans. Brady’s stock dropped a bit this week after he was fired by the Carolina Panthers. Ultimately, it was just a bad situation for Brady.

Quarterbacks  — DJ Mangas

The offense needs some continuity. Mangas is close with Brady, so it would make sense to pair these two together again. Mangas was an offensive analyst with Brady at LSU in 2019 and he was an assistant at Carolina in 2020. Mangas has coached wide receivers and quarterbacks before.

Update: Kelly hired McNeese head coach and former LSU assistant Frank Wilson on Tuesday. It’s likely he will coach wide receivers or running backs (hopefully wide receivers), which would move Joe Brady to quarterbacks in this scenario.

Offensive line — Brad Davis

It seems likely that Notre Dame offensive line coach Jeff Quinn will follow Kelly to Baton Rouge. But that hasn’t officially happened yet. Kelly would be wise to keep Davis, who is currently serving as the Tigers’ interim head coach, on staff. Davis is a Baton Rouge native and he has plenty of SEC experience. He’d be a major asset to Kelly.

Running backs — Kevin Faulk

Faulk has to be detained. There is no way around it. He’s an LSU legend and he’s worked with Davis, Mangas, and Brady in the past. Not retaining Faulk would only serve to hurt the program.

Brian Polian — Special teams/tight ends

Polian coached tight ends at Texas A&M in 2012. It would make sense for him to coach tight ends at LSU, which would allow Kelly to hire an extra defensive coach.

Defensive coordinator/inside linebackers — Manny Diaz

This would be a major splash hire. The recently ousted Miami head coach did a terrific job as the Hurricanes’ defensive coordinator under Mark Richt. He’d be a great recruiter for the Tigers, too.

Outside linebackers — Jonathan Patke

Patke worked closely with Diaz and the linebackers at Miami. It would certainly make sense for him to follow his former boss to LSU.

Defensive line — Jess Simpson

Simpson coached Miami’s defensive line under Diaz. He also has experience with the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL. Simpson is an Auburn graduate.

Safeties — Travaris Robinson

Robinson, who coached defensive backs at Miami, is one of the best recruiters in the nation. His presence would help the Tigers dominate recruiting in the southeast.

Cornerbacks — Corey Ramyond

This one is obvious. Raymond, a former LSU cornerback, has been the Tigers’ staff since 2012. Kelly would be insane to let Raymond leave Baton Rouge.