LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and defensive line coach Bill Johnson are retiring from on field coaching duties and will transition into analyst roles on the Tiger staff.
Ensminger’s “retirement” means LSU coach Ed Orgeron is making a clean sweep of his play-callers on both sides of the ball.
On Monday, Orgeron fired defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, safeties coach Bill Busch and passing game coordinator Scott Linehan.
Ensminger, who played quarterback for the Tigers under Charles McClendon in the 1970s, just completed his 11th year on the LSU coaching staff, the final three coming as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. He joined the Tigers in 2010 as tight ends coach. Ensminger also served as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach for the final eight contests of the 2016 season when Ed Orgeron was elevated to head coach four games into the season.
In 46 games with Ensminger as offensive coordinator, the Tigers averaged 37.4 points and 474.1 total yards per game. LSU racked up over 500 yards of total offense 20 times under Ensminger which included 714 yards against Ole Miss in 2019. LSU also scored 40 or more points 23 times during that span. With Ensminger as offensive coordinator, the Tigers went 36-10, winning 26 of those games by double-figures.
In this 5-5 season, Ensminger had to constantly adjust.
Redshirt junior quarterback Myles Brennan started the first three games of the season and was 1-2 before sustaining an abdomen tear that sidelined him the rest of the year. Freshman TJ Finley started for five games and was 2-3. Fellow true freshman Max Johnson was 2-0 starting and winning the final two games over Florida and Ole Miss.
“Steve gave everything he had to LSU and I will always cherish the time we spent coaching together,” Orgeron said. “Steve treated everyone on the staff and the players on our team like family. He bleeds purple and gold – I don’t know of a better LSU man. From a coaching standpoint, he’s the best. From game-planning to play-calling, Steve was outstanding. He developed our players on the field and he helped mold them into young men off the field.”
Johnson joined Orgeron’s staff in 2019 as defensive line coach after a lengthy career in the NFL. Johnson is one of the few coaches that have won both a CFP National Championship and a Super Bowl. Johnson’s 2019 defensive line was instrumental during LSU’s undefeated national championship season. He won a Super Bowl as the Saints’ defensive line coach in 2009 and he helped lead the Rams to a Super Bowl appearance during the 2018 season.
“Bill is an outstanding football coach and a tremendous man,” Orgeron said. “I have great respect for Bill and the job he did teaching and developing our players. He stepped in and made an immediate impact with our defensive linemen two years ago.”