The road to taking LSU to the No. 1 ranking in the country and a place in the College Football Playoff wasn’t always obvious for Orgeron. Beginning his coaching career with Graduate Assistant posts at Northwestern State and McNeese State in the mid-80, it has taken the former Northwestern State defensive lineman over 30 years of paying his dues at various stops to reach the pinnacle of the college football landscape.
Orgeron cut his head coaching teeth with Ole Miss, being given just three years before being fired and replaced. He then – after some NFL experience – took USC to a 6-2 record as an interim head coach, before being passed over for the full time gig in LA. It was in this second head coaching stint where Orgeron really grew as a coach, toning down the aggressiveness that had worked as a position coach and taking a much more cerebral tone with his staff and players.
Orgeron was originally hired as an interim coach at LSU after the firing of Les Miles in 2016. Finishing that season with a 6-2 record and rapidly improving under their coach, the LSU administrators decided to take a chance on Orgeron and handed him the keys to the program. He has gone from strength to strength in Baton Rouge, with last year’s 10-3 record setting the stage for the Tigers 2019 campaign.
LSU started hot this season, picking up a statement win over Texas early in the year and never looking back. The offense – powered by the 2019 Premier Player of College Football Trophy winner Joe Burrow – is basically a machine, routinely blowing out opponents and overwhelming them with a sensational passing attack. This was never clearer than when LSU went touchdown for touchdown with Alabama as they picked up a 46-41 win in Tuscaloosa.
The evolution of Orgeron has been fascinating to watch. He is a perfect example of a coach who learned from mistakes early in his head coaching career to excel in a new school and a new situation. Orgeron has had an amazing season and the future looks exceptionally bright for LSU football while the fans’ 2019 Premier Coach of Football recipient is at the helm.