Brady wins award as nation’s top college assistant, Orgeron named finalist for national coach of the year

Jonathan Mailhes

First-year LSU passing coordinator Joe Brady, who turned the Tigers’ offense into one of the best in college football while transforming quarterback Joe Burrow into the likely Heisman Trophy winner, has won the Broyles Award symbolic as the best college football assistant coach in the nation.

Brady, a mere 30 years old, is the first first-year assistant to win the Broyles, named after former legendary Arkansas coach and athletic director Frank Broyles.

Also on Tuesday, LSU coach Ed Orgeron was named one of nine finalists for the 2019 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award, which is presented each year to the top coach in college football by the Football Writers Association of America in conjunction with the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

Orgeron was smart enough to know his offense needed to score more points if the Tigers wanted to challenge for the national title, so he hired Brady last January away from the New Orleans Saints where he was an offensive assistant.

Brady combined talents with Tigers’ offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger as they injected a spread offense with Saints’ passing concepts and run-pass-option elements.

It has resulted in a 13-0 season, an SEC championship and No. 1 ranking heading into a College Football Playoff semifinal date vs. Oklahoma in the Dec. 28 Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.

LSU’s offense has set school records for points (621), points per game (47.8) and total offense (7,206). The Tigers are also the first team in SEC history with a 4,000-yard passer (Burrow), a 1,000-yard rusher (Clyde Edwards-Helaire) and two 1,000-yard receivers (Ja’Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson).

LSU won 10 of its 13 games by double-digits, including seven of its nine games against SEC opponents. The Tigers have scored in 49 of a possible 52 quarters this year and have yet to trail in the fourth quarter. Overall, LSU has trailed only four times this year, just twice in the second half.

Weeks ago, LSU officials began work on a new contract for Brady. He said after LSU’s SEC title game win over Georgia last Saturday he planned to return to LSU coaching staff.

Orgeron, who was named SEC Coach of the Year on Monday, was joined as Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year finalists by Ryan Day ( Ohio State), Eliah Drinkwitz (Appalachian State), Sonny Dykes (SMU), P.J. Fleck (Minnesota), Bryan Harsin (Boise State), Mike Norvell (Memphis), Matt Rhule (Baylor) and Dabo Swinney (Clemson).

The winner of the 2019 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award will be announced on Jan. 11 in New Orleans. The winner of the award will be determined by a vote of the FWAA Membership.

Orgeron has compiled a 38-9 mark in 47 games as the LSU head coach. He’s won 10 games against Top 10 teams, including a school-record five in 2019. Orgeron and the Tigers are 9-1 in their last 10 games against Top 10 teams.

Of Orgeron’s 38 wins, 29 have come by double-figures, 16 have come against teams ranked in the Top 25 and 10 of those were against opponents ranked in the Top 10.

This season, LSU joined Notre Dame (1943) as the only teams in college football history to beat five Top 10 teams prior to a bowl game.

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Ron Higgins

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