By CODY WORSHAM | Tiger Rag Editor
Ed Orgeron promised, when hired in November 2016 as LSU’s full-time head coach, to bring the best offensive coordinator in the country to LSU.
If his word holds true, he believes that man has been in Baton Rouge all along.
LSU made official the promotion of tight ends coach Steve Ensminger to full-time offensive coordinator on Wednesday in a release featuring no quotes from Orgeron, Ensminger, or athletic director Joe Alleva.
“In 2016, and in difficult circumstances, he put together one of the most explosive offenses LSU has ever seen,” Orgeron said, according to a quote from provided in a subsequent tweet from the school’s official account. “We did that with Steve Ensminger at the helm and we’re going to do it again.”
Ensminger, like defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, a Les Miles hire, has coached tight ends for the Tigers since 2010, excluding an eight-game stint as Orgeron’s interim OC during the 2016 season. LSU’s offense scored 35 points or more five times and surpassed 500 yards four times, but scored just 10 points combined in losses to Florida (10) and Alabama (0).
Nicknamed “Slinger,” Ensminger played quarterback at LSU from 1977 to 1979 under Charles McClendon. He has previously served as offensive coordinator at McNeese State, Louisiana Tech, Texas A&M and Clemson, but has not been a full-time play-caller in 20 years.
He succeeds Matt Canada, who served for a single year under Orgeron before parting ways after the 2017 season with a $1.7 buyout settlement, in addition to the $1.5 million he made in his only year on campus.
When Orgeron first offered Ensminger the interim role in 2016, he said no, but eventually agreed.
“I told Coach O, ‘I’m doing this for you. I think you deserve this job.’ ” Ensminger said last year before the Citrus Bowl. “I’ve known him for a long time. I said, ‘I’m going to do everything I can to make you the head coach right here and make the Tigers win again, and that’s it.’”
Before he was LSU's OC, Steve Ensminger was its QB pic.twitter.com/wsSPcSIg87
— Cody Worsham (@CodyWorsham) December 16, 2016
“I don’t know if you could have done a better job than Steve Ensminger did for us,” Orgeron said last year. “He’s a great Tiger. We’re forever indebted to him. … He never ever said nothing about getting a new offensive coordinator. We’ve been friends. We’re loyal to him. He’s loyal to us.”
YEAR AT LSU: Eighth (appointed Feb. 25, 2010)
BIRTHDATE: September 15, 1958 in Baton Rouge, La.
WIFE: former Amy Gonzales
CHILDREN: Krystalin, Brittany Rose, and Steven
COLLEGE: LSU, 1982
1976-79 LSU (quarterback)
1982-83 Nicholls State (receivers)
1984-86 McNeese State (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
1988-90 Louisiana Tech (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
1991-93 Georgia (quarterbacks/passing game coordinator)
1994-96 Texas A&M (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
1997-98 Clemson (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks)
2000-02 Central High School (head coach/athletics director)
2002 West Monroe High School (wide receivers)
2003-08 Auburn (quarterbacks, 2003; tight ends 2004-08)
2009 Smiths Station High School (passing game coordinator)
2010-17 LSU (tight ends; offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach, 2016; tight ends 2017)