Just over two weeks ago, LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger's daughter-in-law Carley McCord died en route to the Peach Bowl in a plane crash. Ensminger coached later that night, hours after making the hardest phone call of his life: a call to his son Steve Jr.
On the field after LSU's 42–25 victory over Clemson on Monday night in the national championship, Ensminger shared an emotional embrace with son.
Following their hug, the duo posed for pictures including other members of their family.
As Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger wrote after the Peach Bowl, McCord and Steve Ensminger had a joking relationship, "one full of jesting at one another’s expense." According to Dellenger, before McCord and Steven Jr.'s wedding, Steve told her that he might not make the ceremony because he’s “got recruits in,” Steven says.
McCord would poke at her father-in-law that demons were coming for him. “She’d always give my dad a hard time,” Steven says. “These words are the hardest words I’ve ever had to speak. She will always be part of my life. I’m torn and struggling but I knew she would tell me to be strong. I love her. I miss her so much it hurts. I wish she was here with me.”
She worked for Cox Sports Television, ESPN3 and WDSU New Orleans. Her seat at the Superdome was reserved during the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, as well as her seat at the same stadium for the Saints' NFC wild-card game against the Vikings.
The LSU OC was quarterback under famed coach Charlie McClendon from 1976–79.
The Tigers' victory produced countless other memorable reactions, ranging from members of the LSU team smoking cigars to others in the sports world.