New LSU coach Org­eron rel­ishes op­por­tu­nity

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Brett Mar­tel

As much as Ed Org­eron might have pre­ferred a dif­fer­ent route to the top coach­ing job at LSU, the Louisiana na­tive was never go­ing to be able to hide his en­thu­si­asm for his new op­por­tu­nity — and didn’t try.

BA­TON ROUGE, LA. >> As much as Ed Org­eron might have pre­ferred a dif­fer­ent route to the top coach­ing job at LSU, the Louisiana na­tive was never go­ing to be able to hide his en­thu­si­asm for his new op­por­tu­nity — and didn’t try.

“It’s a great day in my life, I prom­ise you that,” Org­eron said, call­ing it “a dream, ob­vi­ously” to be the Tigers’ head coach. “It’s a well-re­spected po­si­tion that I’m hold­ing right now and I hold it in high es­teem. And I un­der­stand the ex­pec­ta­tions at LSU and I fully, fully in­tend to meet all of those ex­pec­ta­tions.”

The 55-year-old Org­eron, who was for­mally in­tro­duced as Les Miles’ in­terim re­place­ment on Mon­day, said he has no idea whether he’ll have the job past this sea­son and isn’t say­ing whether he sees his op­por­tu­nity as an au­di­tion to re­main for the longer term.

“Take the fu­ture aside. What­ever’s go­ing to hap­pen is go­ing to hap­pen. Let the chips fall where they may,” Org­eron said, adding that his sole fo­cus was on his play­ers’ suc­cess. “All I want to do is see them win. I want to them happy, and what­ever hap­pens af­ter that is go­ing to be fine.”

Org­eron said he’s tapped cur­rent as­sis­tant Steve Ens­minger, a for­mer LSU quar­ter­back, to re­place of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Cam Cameron, who was fired on Sun­day along with Miles.

Org­eron noted that he had also el­e­vated de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dave Aranda to as­so­ci­ated head coach. As for Org­eron’s old po­si­tion as de­fen­sive line coach, he’s adding a new, but fa­mil­iar face to the staff in Pete Jenk­ins, who is now 75 and has had two pre­vi­ous stints as a de­fen­sive as­sis­tant at LSU, start­ing in 1980. Org­eron said Jenk­ins would be his “men­tor and my right-hand man.”

“We’re go­ing to flip the script,” Org­eron said. “We’re go­ing to do things dif­fer­ent, we’re go­ing to do things that I’ve done in the past to re-en­er­gize this team.”

The de­ci­sion to fire Miles, who was 114-34 in 11-plus sea­sons, stemmed largely from stag­na­tion that has plagued the of­fense in big games in re­cent sea­sons, par­tic­u­larly be­cause of an ane­mic pass­ing game.

Org­eron said the of­fense will be “tweaked” to fea­ture more spread for­ma­tions. He did not say whether he’d re­open the start­ing quar­ter­back job, which has been held by both Brandin Har­ris and Danny Etling this sea­son al­ready. But he did say, “I’m still a pro-style guy,” which could lend it­self more to the pocket-pass­ing skills of Etling.

Known by play­ers as “Coach O,” Org­eron was born in the bayou coun­try south­west of New Or­leans, in the town of Larose, close to where for­mer Saints quar­ter­back Bobby He­bert grew up.

Org­eron, a de­fen­sive line­man in his play­ing days, and He­bert were team­mates at South Lafourche High School and in col­lege at North­west­ern State.

Org­eron was a head coach once be­fore in the SEC with Mis­sis­sippi, but never had a win­ning record there and was fired af­ter three sea­sons. He fared bet­ter as in­terim head coach at South­ern Cal­i­for­nia in 2013, go­ing 6-2 in place of Lane Kif­fin, who’d been fired that sea­son.

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