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LSU's Coaching Staff Makes Big Splash But Important Decisions Still to Be Made

Kelly and current coaching staff putting all attention into recruiting with early signing period just over a week away

Brian Kelly was introduced one week ago today as LSU's new head coach and the coaching decisions went silent for a number of days. Which made the albatross of news to surface in Baton Rouge on Tuesday all the more gratifying for those waiting on something to leak out. 

First there was the hiring of Jacob Flint as the team's strength and conditioning coordinator, replacing the institution that was Tommy Moffitt. Minutes later, Kelly poached a second coach from the Notre Dame program in special teams coordinator Brian Polian, who will replace a recently retired Greg McMahon. Again it was a hire that will require lofty shoes to fill as McMahon had arguably brought in the program's two best kickers in Cole Tracy and Cade York since taking over in 2018.

But the icing on the cake for all who follow LSU football closely was seeing the return of Frank Wilson to the program. Wilson's impact on the program from 2010-15 was profound as he established himself as one of the great recruiters in the country and will now return six years later with a new title of associate head coach. 

For those concerned about how Kelly would adapt to recruiting in the south, the hiring of Wilson alleviated any semblance of curiosity. 

"No one knows the recruiting landscape in Louisiana better than Frank, and his experience and character will be tremendous resources for our staff and student-athletes. His impact on our staff at LSU will be immediate and immense," Kelly said. 

There's momentum building with filling out this staff and now the focus shifts towards making the ever important coordinator hires.

Yet there are still some big decisions that will be made over the next several days. Kelly said last week that conversations with staff members had already begun and that he will need to be careful but hasty with his decision making as it pertains to keeping current coaches on the roster.

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"I know the business, they know the business. There are realities in this business. But we'll get to all of those coaches," Kelly said. "They have families, they have lives, and we have to get moving in that direction.

It's important to note that Kelly will and should have final say on any coach he elects to keep. Chemistry and "alignment" with the coaching staff is a critical part to a well oiled product on the field and all you have to do is look at the last two years to show what a lack of cohesion in some areas of the staff could do to a season.

There have been reports that Kelly will hold onto cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond, who is a significant part of this staff from both a recruiting and development standpoint in the secondary. Offensive line and current interim coach Brad Davis also makes a ton of sense to keep around with a full offseason to develop a young, inexperienced group.

Of course the main focus will shift to what Kelly does at offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator, where not much information at all has leaked on who he's looking to fill with those two spots. Of course as soon as news broke of Joe Brady's firing from Carolina, all eyes widened in Baton Rouge but Brady isn't a very realistic option. 

Having a known dislike for recruiting, it would be surprising to see Brady land back in the college realm anytime soon though the way this historic coaching carousel has gone the last two weeks, nothing should be completely shocking. 

It's also important from a recruiting perspective for the incoming class to know who will be their coordinator and position coach upon arrival. Early signing period is just over a week away and LSU coaches, including Kelly, are still out recruiting this week while the current roster handles finals week. This is just a theory, but the more time that passes actually bodes well for certain members of the current staff sticking around for the early portion of the Kelly era. 

Obviously the ideal situation for Kelly was to bring a number of assistant coaches from Notre Dame with him to Baton Rouge but with that possibility now gone, how Kelly handles these coaching decisions will say a lot about the early success this program will potentially have.