LSU fires Miles and former Ravens coordinator Cameron
Notre Dame defensive coordinator VanGorder, FIU coach Turner also out
LSU fired coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Sunday, and promoted defensive line coach Ed Orgeron to interim head coach.
The moves came less than 24 hours after Miles briefly watched his players celebrate what they thought was a lastsecond winning touchdown pass at Auburn, only to walk off the field with a loss after officials determined on video replay that time had expired before the ball was snapped.
It was the latest of several frantic finishes in which the clock management of a Miles-coached offense had come under intense scrutiny. It will go down as the last.
“Coach Miles has done a tremendous job here and he’s been a great ambassador for our University, which makes this even more difficult,” LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said in a written statement. “However, it’s apparent in evaluating the program through the first month of the season that a change has to be made.
“We have an obligation to our studentathletes to put them in the best position to have success on the football field each week. We have great confidence that Coach Orgeron will do just that.”
Miles’ firing, reported first by The Advocate of Baton Rouge, came hours after LSU (2-2, 1-1 Southeastern Conference), which was ranked No. 18 last week, dropped out of the Top 25 in the latest Associated Press Poll released Sunday afternoon.
Miles, who was in his 12th season, went 114-34 at LSU, the second-most victories in school history behind Charles McClendon’s 137 from 1962 to 1979.
Cameron, a friend of Miles since they were both assistants at Michigan in the 1980s, joined LSU in 2013. His offense was largely effective when his quarterback was Zach Mettenberger, a tall, strongarmed pro-style pocket passer. Production was far less consistent — and the passing game was often anemic — during the past two seasons.
Cameron served as offensive coordinator for the Ravens from 2008 to 2012, when he was fired after a loss to the Washington Redskins in Week 14 and replaced by quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell.
Miles coached the Tigers to a national title in the 2007 season. The 2011 Tigers also reached the national title game, but lost to Alabama in what has grown to a five-game losing streak against the Crimson Tide. Notre Dame DC VanGorder fired: Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly fired defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, hours after an embarrassing 38-35 home loss to Duke dropped the Fighting Irish — who started the season ranked No. 10 — to 1-3.
“I had time last night to evaluate our current situation and made what I felt to be the best decision for the program,” Kelly said.
Greg Hudson, a former Irish linebacker under Lou Holtz who was hired as a defensive analyst over the summer, was named VanGorder’s replacement. Hudson previously served as defensive coordinator at Purdue, East Carolina and Minnesota, as well as assistant head coach and linebackers coach at Florida State.
Kelly said he hired Hudson to bring experience and brainpower to the program.
“Now as the defensive coordinator he’ll assume the responsibilities of the coordinator to get some energy into the group, some passion and get that unit playing the kind of football I know they’re capable of,” Kelly said.
Kelly said he also plans to spend a lot more time with the defense, a process that began last week. He wants to see the Irish playing “fast and free and loose.”
“I need to see guys playing the game like kids, and not so mechanical and robotic,” he said.
Kelly said there was plenty of room to make changes in the defense without overwhelming players, saying there was “a vast library that is easily tapped into from a different perspective.” He also wants to see the Irish use more players.
The Irish’s defense is giving up 33.5 points a game through four games, which is on pace to be the most points in school history. The record is 29.2 points a game, set in 2014, VanGorder’s first year as defensive coordinator. The previous school record was 28.9, set in 1956 when the Irish finished 2-8.
Asked whether the hiring of Hudson was an interim move or a full-time move, Kelly said he told Hudson “that everybody is interviewing. Everybody on our staff for the rest of the year is on a very public interview.” Turner out at FIU: Florida International has fired coach Ron Turner.
The Panthers made the one day after the team fell to 0-4 this season with a 53-14 loss to Central Florida. They lost to Maryland, 41-14, on Sept. 9.
FIU has won only13 of its past 53 games, going back to the final game of the 2011 season. The Panthers were 10-30 in parts of four seasons under Turner, who replaced Mario Cristobal before the 2012 season.
Defensive coordinator Ron Cooper is taking over as interim coach. The Panthers host rival Florida Atlantic on Saturday.
Ron Fritz, Senior Editor/Sports, 410-332-6421, fax: 410-783-2518, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Former Raven Chris Chester and the Falcons will face the Saints tonight