LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is going back to the future for his defensive coordinator.
Tiger Rag as confirmed, along with multiple media outlets, that one-time LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini is signing up for his second stint with the Tigers. LSU officially announced the hire Monday afternoon.
“We are privileged to have one of the top defensive coordinators in all of football in Bo Pelini join our staff,” LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said. “Bo has had some of the best defenses in football during his career and we are looking forward to him bringing his tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise back to LSU to continue to win championships.”
The 52-year old Pelini, who just finished his fifth year as head coach at Division 1-AA Youngstown State, is replacing Dave Aranda who became Baylor’s head coach. He is expected to make $2 million annually, just under Aranda’s $2.5 million per year LSU salary.
Pelini was LSU’s defensive coordinator for three seasons from 2005 to 2007, coaching his last game in the Tigers’ BCS national championship game victory over Ohio State in New Orleans.
In each of his three years with the Tigers, Pelini’s defenses ranked No. 3 in the nation in yards allowed. LSU also ranked No. 3 nationally in scoring defense in 2005 and No. 4 in 2006.
Pelini’s LSU defenses produced four NFL Draft picks along with six first-team All-America selections, including 2007 Outland Trophy-winning defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey.
Pelini left LSU to become Nebraska’s head coach in 2008. After seven straight seasons with nine or more wins but no Big 12 championships, Pelini was fired with a 67-27 record.
His surly, combative attitude wore thin with the Nebraska administration. He began to fall out of favor with the fan base in 2013 after a 2011 profanity-filled audio tape of Pelini was leaked to Deadspin.
The recording was made following Nebraska’s come-from-behind 34-27 win over Ohio State with Pelini’s angry response that some students left the game early.
He said, `Our crowd. What a bunch of F’n fair-weather F’n—they can all kiss my ass out the F’n door. ‘Cause the day is F’n coming now. We’ll see what they can do when I’m F’n gone. I’m so F’n pissed off.”
Then a year later just days after Pelini was fired by then-Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst, Pelini met with the Cornhuskers’ team in private at a local area high school.
Among the things he told his team was describing Eichorst as “a total p—-, he’s a total c—.”
The University of Nebraska administration, which eventually paid Pelini $7.9 million for the remainder of his contract, issued a statement of admonishment that began, “If these comments were, indeed, spoken by Mr. Pelini, we are extremely disappointed, but it only reaffirms the decision that he should no longer be a leader of young men at Nebraska.”
Amazingly, Youngstown State hired Pelini almost immediately. After a 5-6 season in his first year, his second squad in 2016 went 12-4 lost in the Division 1-AA (FCS) national championship game to James Madison.
In the three seasons since then, Youngstown hadn’t won more than six games and was a combined 16-18. He leaves Youngstown with a 33-28 record.