LSU Football: Brian Kelly is taking a big risk with possible coaching hire

Mandatory Credit: Patrick Dennis-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Patrick Dennis-USA TODAY Sports /

Football Scoop reported on Saturday evening that LSU football head coach Brian Kelly has his eye on a couple of potential coordinator hires.

The possible offensive coordinator choice that Football Scoop reported isn’t surprising. They reported that Kelly could be bringing Cincinnati Bearcats offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock to Baton Rouge.

Denbrock has served as the Bearcats’ offensive coordinator since 2017.

Before he was hired at Cincinnati, Denbrock served on Kelly’s staff at Notre Dame from 2010-2016.

Denbrock also coached under Kelly at Grand Valley State from 1992-1998.

This isn’t a “splash hire”, but it’s a hire that makes sense due to familiarity. Also, Denbrock has to be doing something right if he’s the offensive coordinator for a group of five program that reached the College Football Playoff.

Speaking of the playoff, nothing will be official until after Cincinnati’s final game of the season.

The potential defensive coordinator hire that Football Scoop reported is where Kelly could be taking a big risk.

Is Brian Kelly taking too big of a risk?

According to Football Scoop, Kelly has his eye on Kansas City Chiefs linebackers coach Matt House for the Tigers’ defensive coordinator job.

House previously served as Kentucky’s defensive coordinator from 2017-2018 (Kelly attempted to hire current Wildcats defensive coordinator Brad White last week, but he decided to stay in Lexington).

I think House would be a solid defensive coordinator.

But I’m not sure the timing is right here.

House isn’t going to take a job until the Chiefs’ season is finished. That could be in February if Kansas City reaches the Super Bowl.

If the House deal falls through (which is possible — House likes coaching in the NFL and he had a deal with the Tennessee Vols earlier this year that fell through), then where does Kelly turn?

Current LSU defensive coordinator Daronte Jones has to be the “backup plan” for Kelly (though I think he just give Jones the job…he did well last season for LSU). But is Jones going to wait around until February to see if he’s retained?


If Jones is offered another defensive coordinator job or NFL position coach job, it’s hard to imagine him turning it down. At that point, LSU would be in a bad spot. They’d have to rush and make a hire that maybe isn’t in the program’s best interest.

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Kellly should just keep Jones and build his defensive staff from there. Waiting on House is too much of a gamble.