Reports: LSU job search has narrowed down to two candidates
By JAMES MORAN | Tiger Rag Associate Editor
Update: 5:20 p.m.
LSU has narrowed down its search for a new full-time football coach to Houston coach Tom Herman and current interim coach Ed Orgeron, according to reports from Ross Dellenger of The Advocate and Brett McMurphy of ESPN.
Both reports site Herman, the hottest young coaching commodity in the country, as LSU’s “top-target.” The ESPN report indicates it’s Herman’s job to accept, and if he says no, LSU would then hire Orgeron.
Both outlets are reporting the search is expected to conclude some time this weekend, though it could be drawn out if Texas fires embattled head coach Charlie Strong and officially joins in on the Herman sweepstakes. A bidding war would the Longhorns would get expensive in a hurry.
LSU interim coach Ed Orgeron met with AD Joe Alleva on Friday morning to discuss his candidacy for the school’s full-time coaching vacancy, a source confirmed to Tiger Rag.
As expected, the meeting took place less than 24 hours after LSU finished its regular season. The Tigers routed Texas A&M 54-39 on Thanksgiving night to improve to 5-2 under Orgeron’s direction.
No details of the meeting were shared, but Orgeron was expected to make his pitch to be the full-time replacement for Les Miles. His plan was expected to include a list of candidates to become his offensive coordinator should Alleva elect to remove the interim tag.
The likely top candidate on Orgeron’s list would likely be Lane Kiffin, Alabama’s offensive coordinator and a man Orgeron describes as a “personal friend.” Orgeron worked under Kiffin during past coaching stops at Tennessee and USC.
As for Orgeron himself, the coach didn’t share much in the way of future plans following LSU’s victory on Thursday night. He wouldn’t comment on the reported meeting, though he did say he felt the administration had “supported him” since his promotion and “treated like the head coach on a daily basis.”
Amid swirling rumors Thursday linking Houston coach Tom Herman to the LSU job, LSU released two separate official statements on the coaching search. The second, attributed to Alleva directly, denied that any decision had been made.
Statement from LSU Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva and University Administration pic.twitter.com/S5D30fvuzK
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) November 25, 2016
If Alleva’s statement is to be believed, Orgeron remains a viable candidate to land the permanent gig. He clearly already has the support of his players, as senior linebacker Duke Riley tweeted out a video following Thursday’s game of LSU players chanting “Keep Coach O!” in the locker room.
“He’s building something here, and it’s going to be special,” senior cornerback Tre’Davious White said after the game. “I feel like our LSU program would be in great hands with him.”