What goes around comes around as Bo Pelini becomes LSU’s D-coordinator for a second time

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.

author avatar
Ron Higgins


  1. It seems that one of the intangibles that m
    Coach O brought was suppress one’s ego for
    The betterment of the team. I hope
    coach Pelini is up to the task for it is easier said than

  2. Did we jump the gun here? He was a fantastic DC for us in 2004-07 but hasn’t coached this position in 13 years. He was making what $400k a year? And we gift him $2 mil a year. Can’t help but think A) he’d be tickled pink to come back for half of what we gave him and B) did we serve a nationwide search for an in-depth DC that may better or Equal for much less money. I wish Pellini well and have little doubt he won’t succeed. After all he just won the lottery!

  3. Well that’s concerning. I hope he doesn’t rub off on our players. I want to be proud of the young men that come from our program. They need mentors not hot heads.

  4. Coach O knows what he is doing, he hired Coach Bo Pelini because he knows how to coach and is a proven winner. Coach Pelini got upset at fans leaving and you can’t blame him, remember how many times we have seen Coach Saban in the news about fans leaving, Bama even gives students academic credit now for staying into the fourth quarter, they video them for identification, Saban has even threatened to sell or give away student section tickets for free or at a discount rate to anyone that would want them. Coach Pelini just wanted fan support like any decent caring coach wants. Players and coaches bust their tail during the hottest and sometimes wettest, coldest times of the year to produce a winning football team for the school, fans, students, and family. On top of all of the hard work, they also have to maintain a grade point average or risk losing their scholarship. The very least fans can do is show up and support the team. Football is a team sport and it takes the whole teams participation, coaches, employees, and fans included, to make the team successful. Thank you Coach O for the hire and thank you Coach Pelini for accepting the job. Geaux TIGERS !!!

  5. Cursing the fans, the people who support the athletic department and write his paycheck, and the athletic director, the head of the department and his personal supervisor, not only requires a prescription for an anger management class, it manifests a “self-destructive” personality and an inability to control emotions, such as Bi-polar disorder, and might require a mental examination before signing any contract. LSU should, at least, not be stuck with paying off a long term contract when Pelini’s fuse goes off, and he is fired, such as occurred at Nebraska. He had the same problems here at LSU with Miles, only no one knew who to blame in view of Miles own peculiar tendencies.

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