LSU football: Brian Kelly trolls Lane Kiffin with his latest hire

Oct 21, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly leaves the field after
Oct 21, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; LSU Tigers head coach Brian Kelly leaves the field after / Matthew Hinton-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Kelly’s LSU football staff reunion tour continued Friday. The Tigers head coach is returning a familiar face to Baton Rouge to serve as chief of staff.

This week, Lane Kiffin spent time trolling LSU football and its fans on X (Twitter). Today, LSU football trolled back. Brian Kelly has hired Austin Thomas away from Ole Miss to fill the chief of staff vacancy in Death Valley.

Thomas spent the last two seasons serving as the chief of staff and sports administrator for the Rebels football program. According to his yet-to-be-removed bio on Ole Miss’s football website, Thomas’s duties with the program included operational and administrative oversight, including “budget, scheduling, facilities, and non-coaching personnel…”

The Franklin, Tennessee native also served as Ole Miss football’s liaison to the University of Mississippi. He also assisted Kiffin in “shaping the program’s strategic vision.”

According to reports, Thomas will inherit the same responsibilities within the LSU football staff.

Kelly started his search for a new chief of staff on Wednesday after incumbent Will Redmond departed Baton Rouge for an elevated position at Auburn. Redmond’s official title at LSU was director of player personnel. He held that position with the Tigers since 2021.

Austin Thomas’s addition to the LSU football staff is his third stint with the program. He served as the Tigers chief of staff from 2013-17 and returned in 2021 to assist with operations and personnel management. He joins Bo Davis, Corey Raymond, and Slade Nagle as former LSU staffers that Kelly lured back to the program.

I used the word continuity often when discussing coaching moves because continuity matters when developing young athletes. Thomas is not in an on-field role, but I don’t expect him to miss a beat when jumping back into a role for which he has previous experience. It also helps that Thomas is familiar with the environment and high expectations surrounding the LSU football program.

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