LSU Coach Ed Orgeron Speaks for First Time About Hire of Bo Pelini as Defensive Coordinator
News broke Monday afternoon that LSU would be hiring Bo Pelini as its next defensive coordinator, replacing current Baylor coach Dave Aranda. The 2020 season will officially mark Pelini's second stint with the Tigers after being the defensive coordinator at LSU from 2005-07.
On Tuesday morning, LSU coach Ed Orgeron appeared on local radio show "Off the Bench" to express his excitement about bringing Pelini on board and what to expect from the LSU defense moving forward.
"I've known Bo for a long time and when he was here, I thought he had great defenses, some of the top defenses in all of the nation," Orgeron said. "He and I have a great passion for the game and I think with the coaching staff that we have, this is the best choice because I always want to bring the best to LSU."
Pelini, who was hired away from Youngstown State, is known for being a 'fiery' coach, which is a bit of a difference from the quiet but direct nature of Aranda. Orgeron said he doesn't think Pelini's coaching style will be a huge adjustment for his players, saying there's many ways to be an effective coach.
Before making his ultimate decision, Orgeron spoke with Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt, athletic trainer Jack Marucci as well as a few LSU alumni that played under Pelini.
"I think the guys will love it," Orgeron said. "Everybody has to coach with their own demeanor and I love the way he coaches. Coach Carroll said he [Pelini] was one of the best defensive minds he's ever been around. Everybody I talked to said he was one of the best defensive coordinators, came highly recommended and thought he was the best choice."
Orgeron did talk some about what a potential defensive scheme could like under Pelini. While at LSU his first time around, Pelini used a lot of four man fronts whereas LSU has most recently used more three man fronts under Aranda.
Whether it's a 4-3 or a 3-4, Orgeron said Pelini has experience with both and will choose which one best fits his team once he starts getting to work.
"We talked about it briefly," Orgeron said. "Obviously, when Bo was in the NFL with Coach Carroll, they ran the 3-4, and then he ran the 4-3 here at LSU. So I think he knows how to do both. It's going to be his decision which way he wants to go, and we're going to follow his lead."
Orgeron went on to say Pelini will begin work for the 2020 season on Monday and that he feels 'lucky' that he was available.
The hiring of Pelini is the only hole filled after a pretty significant coaching turnover within the program. The other big slot that needs to be addressed is the loss of Joe Brady as passing game coordinator. Orgeron said he's excited by a lot of different guys and could start the interview process next week.
"I'm taking my time to be honest with you," Orgeron said. "Obviously we have a list of names, we have some great candidates out there and we'll get the guy that's the best fit for us. I'm just very fortunate we have Steve Ensminger, he's been the glue to the whole thing and we have him back."
Orgeron and the entire coaching staff are currently on the recruiting trail trying to get as great a finish as possible to the 2020 class. LSU signed running back Kevontre Bradford and receiver Alex Adams over the weekend, which brought its official list of commitments and signed players to 24 total.