Skip to main content

Dave Aranda Becoming "Full Person" As Baylor Coach

Aranda reflects on human aspect of first head coaching job

In the craziest offseason in recent memory in terms of Division I football coaching vacancies, one name was repeatedly in rumors as a hot-shot candidate - Dave Aranda. Yet, when Oklahoma, USC, Notre Dame, Florida, Miami and LSU all found their guys, Aranda's business card still had the interlocked "BU" on it.

Without the historical footprint of any of those programs, national pundits were perplexed as to why Aranda would stay at Baylor with the endless budgets and power at his fingertips at any of those other schools. Aranda shed light on the subject Monday.

"Coming to Baylor I was part machine really at other spots, just all football," Aranda said in an interview with 247 Sports. “The ability to come to Baylor was to change, to grow and to become a full person."

Since arriving in Waco in 2020, Aranda has preached a "Person > Player" mantra that he credits for the program's turnaround from a 2-7 rookie campaign to a school-record 12 wins, a conference championship and a Sugar Bowl victory a year later in 2021.

While Aranda had success at the biggest stage as the Defensive Coordinator for the 2019 National Champion LSU Tigers, he could see how it was affecting his family negatively.

"I think I talk more in a day now than I would at a week at LSU, for example, and parts of myself just kind of became closed off to people and only come alive when it was ball. I could see my kids seeing how I was and thinking that was OK," Aranda said. "I could see them sort of becoming miniature mes, which would suck, I think. Now they’re not experiencing life really."

Going into year three as the head man, national college football experts may be surprised to see Aranda still at Baylor. If one thing has become clear, Aranda doesn't need to be conventional just because other people think he should be.

While the Baylor job has been a new experience for Aranda on Saturdays, the rest of the week has changed his outlook on coaching as well.

"I think I learn more than I teach here," Aranda said. "Im happy to be here.”

Aranda's contract runs through 2029.

Want the latest in breaking and insider news for the Baylor Bears? Click Here

Follow Inside the Bears on Twitter

Follow Inside the Bears on Facebook