Multiple media reports Sunday reported that LSU and Ed Orgeron have reached an agreement to end their relationship after this season. This comes 21 months after Orgeron led the Tigers to the national title with one of the most storied teams in college football history.
Sports Illustrated reported first that Orgeron would not be returning to LSU in 2022, but is expected to continue to coach the Tigers for the remainder of the season.
Although it was surprising that the Tigers (4-3) upset Florida Sunday, the timing of the decision came as a surprise. However, Coach O at LSU seemed like he was about to lose his job after last week’s loss to Kentucky.
LSU beat Florida at home Saturday, making it 9-8 in the year since beating Clemson in New Orleans to win the national title on January 13, 2020.
Orgeron has a record of 49-17 in six seasons with the Tigers, including 15-0 in 2019, when Joe Burrow won the Heisman Trophy. LSU also earned its third national title in 17 seasons with three different coaches.
After the 2019 season, Orgeron was awarded a six-year extension to his contract. USA Today reports that Orgeron will make $9 million this season. This is the second highest salary in major college football, behind Nick Saban of Alabama.
According to USA Today, his buyout was greater than $17million if he was fired before Dec. 1.
LSU fell to 5-5 in the 2020 pandemic-altered season, but there were high expectations that the Tigers would return among the top teams of the Southeastern Conference after Orgeron restructured his coaching staff.
Instead, LSU lost a highly publicized match at UCLA in September. The season then slipped from there.
Orgeron joins Gene Chizik, the Auburn coach, as the second SEC coach to lose his job after two years. Cam Newton won the 2010 BCS championship for Auburn Tigers, but they lost in SEC play in 2012. Chizik was also out.
Orgeron, a Louisiana native became LSU’s head coaching after being appointed interim coach four games into the 2016 season. This was following the firing of Les Miles midseason. Miles had won a national championship with the Tigers.
Orgeron was appointed interim coach at 6-2 and was offered a long-term contract from Joe Alleva, then the athletic director.
Scott Woodward, formerly the AD at Washington, LSU, and LSU, took over Alleva’s place at LSU in 2019.
LSU won nine games in 2017 as well as 10 in 2018. Then, everything fell into place in 2019, with Burrow and many other players becoming first-round NFL draft picks. The team was quickly dismantled, with many key players leaving and key coaches moving on to other opportunities.
Joe Brady was the co-offensive coordinator and is credited with creating a record-setting offense in 2019. He left the Carolina Panthers to join the NFL. Dave Aranda, the defensive coordinator, became the Baylor head coach.