LSU has parted ways with controversial head coach Ed Orgeron, effective immediate following this 2021 college season.
During his time at LSU, Orgeron loved to live his personal life through the social media lens and he threw his celebrity around like a Hollywood actor on a promo tour, which really isn’t beneficial for the head coach of a powerhouse college football program like LSU.
Fall From Grace
What a swift fall for a coach who was on top of the world in 2019 as he and Joe Burrow led LSU to its first College Football Playoff National Championship and the storied SEC program’s first title since 2007.
Negotiations began last week before UF win.
It’s unprecedented in the sport – coach & school divorcing 21 months after winning it all.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) October 17, 2021
Orgeron reportedly became a distraction and a public embarrassment at times for the university. His ego was an impediment to the team and his off-the-field shenanigans strained any good will he had left with the administration.
Orgeron definitely imprinted his culture on the team, but it was one that was becoming by the moment less conducive to winning football games.
Chasing Women, Not Wins
There are even rumors of multiple girlfriends being at practice, with their children involved in running the plays. Some might see his actions as making a mockery of a serious football machine.
There was growing backlash against Orgeron. The flamboyant head coach had developed the reputation of being somewhat of a womanizer, which in turn also put his job in jeopardy.
Per reports, Coach O even asked an LSU official’s pregnant wife to cheat on her husband with him. Who can forget the pictures of him lying in bed with several woman after the title win?
Couple that with a failure to report sexual assault, sexual misconduct and rape allegations against his players (something Orgeron vehemently denies) and you have a firestorm of controversy brewing on and off the field.
Random woman: “I’m Married”
— Melvin Purdy (@MLVNPRDY) October 17, 2021
Losing Games, Losing Credibility
The straw that broke the camel’s back was the mediocre 9-8 coaching record (7-7 in SEC) Coach O compiled since going 15-0 in 2019. Wild personalities like Orgeron’s are much less tolerable when his team is getting spanked by inferior opponents.
There was distrust and growing contention between Orgeron and the administration. The local community was getting fed up with his act. So officials felt it was time for new leadership.
The two sides agreed to a settlement in what Sports Illustrated says is “a historic and unprecedented move: a school ushering out a coach with a 74% winning percentage who is a mere 21 months removed from winning a national championship. It is a stunning fall from grace—a bayou-born man who rose from previous failures, claimed the sport’s greatest prize and signed one of the richest contracts in the sport fewer than two years ago.”
The article details several incidents that have led to Oregron’s departure in the midst of a contract that makes him the second-highest paid coach in the country at more than $8M per year. The $17 million buyout isn’t a bad departure gift either.
Slow Rise, Swift Demise
The Tigers lost a ton of the talent following that historic 2019 run. Gone were top-flight coordinators Joe Brady (Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator) and Dave Aranda (Baylor Bears head coach).
In addition to losing Burrow to the NFL, the program also lost running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire (Kansas City Chiefs), wide receiver Justin Jefferson (Minnesota Vikings), tight end Thaddeus Moss, offensive tackle Saadiq Charles and versatile linebacker Patrick Queen to the NFL.
Prior to the beginning of the 2020 season with heavy COVID-19 restrictions in place, 2019 Biletnikoff winner Ja’Marr Chase opted out of the season to prepare for the draft.
Wideout Terrace Marshall Jr. opted out in season to prepare for the draft also. That’s a lot of talent to lose and keep up with the expectations on the “bayou,” which are championship or bust.
Lacking Grace, Humility
Orgeron is a brash loudmouth at times, and who can forget how he carried on after LSU beat Alabama (46-41) in 2019, for their first win in the rivalry since 2011.
“We gonna beat their ‘BLEEP’ in recruiting. We gonna beat their ‘BLEEP’ every time they see us. ROLL TIDE, WHAT, ‘BLEEP’ YOU.”
These were his words, and then in their 2020 matchup, ‘Bama hung 55 on them at Tiger Stadium (55-17).
Orgeron was expected to be out at season’s end last year, but the pandemic and lingering good will from that 2019 championship bought him another season. Ultimately, Orgeron’s negatives outweighed his positives.
A source told Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports:
“It’s one of those thing where players didn’t want to play for him, the coaches didn’t want to coach for him.”
Mel Tucker (Michigan State coach) — he’s an ace recruiter with ties to LSU.
Jimbo Fisher (Texas AM coach) — was the offensive coordinator in Baton Rouge under Nick Saban and helped win the 2003 National Championship.
Dave Aranda (Baylor coach) — was the defensive coordinator on the 2019 National Championship team.
James Franklin (Penn State coach) — is an ace recruiter and we’ll be coveted for just about every big D1 opening.
Luke Fickell (Cincinnati coach) — has the Bearcats in the thick of the College Football Playoff picture. Had a great run as defensive coordinator for the Ohio State Buckeyes prior to taking Cincy job.