LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and defensive coordinator Bo Pelini are no longer a couple.
After Pelini’s Tigers’ defense put up the worst numbers in LSU football history allowing 34.9 points and 492 yards per game this past season, Orgeron believed Pelini should look for employment elsewhere.
Pelini mutually agreed with Orgeron on Monday since he is guaranteed all the remaining income in his three-year, $2.3 million contract, meaning he’ll walk out the door with $5.2 million.
LSU and Pelini agreed to a financial settlement to end Pelini’s employment agreement with the University. As part of the agreement, Pelini will accept a one-time payment in lieu of the liquidated damages detailed in his contract.
Though it hasn’t been announced, there will be other coaching changes on Orgeron’s staff. Defensive line coach Bill Johnson is retiring and safeties coach Bill Busch isn’t being retained. Also, first-year passing game coordinator Scott Linehan also may be fired.
Busch’s buyout for last two years of his contract is almost $1 million. Linehan will be owed $800,000 for the last year of his two-year deal.
Pelini lasted one season in his second stint at LSU. He parlayed his first time as LSU’s D-coordinator in 2005 through 2007 (the Tigers’ national championship year) into a head coaching job at Nebraska.. He was fired at Nebraska after seven years and had coached at Youngstown State for five seasons when Orgeron hired him in January to replace Dave Aranada who left for Baylor.
“While this year has been challenging in many ways, the decision to return to LSU – a place that I love with many wonderful memories – is something that I’m thankful for,” Peliini said in a released statement Monday night. “However, after meeting with Coach O and discussing the future of the program, we have mutually decided that it’s best we part ways.
“I wish nothing but success for LSU, Coach O and the players that I thoroughly enjoyed coaching and getting to know this year. I was proud of how hard our team competed down stretch, the way our young guys stepped up and were developing and the overall direction we were headed.
“I am grateful to call Coach O a friend and I am thankful for the opportunity to come back to LSU, but I have decided to move on in my coaching career. I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Coach O, the staff, the players and the entire LSU community. I will be pulling for the Tigers wherever my next stop may be.”
LSU wrapped up the 2020 season on Saturday with a 53-48 win over Ole Miss in Tiger Stadium to finish 5-5 overall.