LSUwill announce its choice for new football coach Saturday, andinterim coach Ed Orgeron is the Tigers' clear-cut "backup plan" if the school is unable to hire Houston's Tom Herman, a source said. The reports prompted LSU's vice chancellor and athletic director Joe Alleva and university administration to issue a statement denying they had chosen a new coach and praising Orgeron's work since taking over in September when Les Miles was sacked.
Meanwhile, Orgeron led the Tigers to another big win against Texas A&M on Thursday to improve his record to 5-2 since taking over.
On Saturday, LSU formally named Orgeron the permanent head coach of the flagship college football program in the state where he was raised before venturing out on a career that took him from coast-to-coast and back again. Under the interim coach, the Tigers finished with a 7-4 overall record and a 5-3 conference record, going 5-2 down the stretch with losses to Alabama and Florida.
LSU is also reportedly interested in Florida State Head Coach Jimbo Fisher. A source told ESPN's Sam Khan Jr. that Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek met with Herman's agent, Trace Armstrong, earlier this week and offered a contract extension that would include a seven-figure raise. "We are in Memphis preparing for a game", Hunter Yurachek, U of H vice president for athletics, said in a statement.
LSU ESPN 300 quarterback commit Myles Brennan, who is the all-time leading passer in the state of MS, was clearly excited to hear of the coaching news.
To tamp down the rumors, LSU sent out a message during their 54-39 win over the Texas A&M Aggies that they had yet to make a decision on who would coach the squad in 2017.
Alleva: "This thing was never going to come down to a bidding war".
After the Tigers won their first three games under Orgeron, the Tigers lost to Alabama in a defensive battle decided in the fourth quarter. But if you're LSU, there are far worse positions to be in than having Ed Orgeron as your head coach. He reminds us that it's you fighting for your brothers.we're all one heartbeat.
Alleva divulged that one of Orgeron's mentors, current Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, called LSU to stump for his former USC assistant.
Orgeron was similarly adored by players during his stint at USC, but the Trojans hired then-Washington coach Steve Sarkisian, who has since been fired.
Orgeron previously served as Ole Miss' head coach from 2005 through 2007. "I want to thank all of the people in Louisiana for their support". Asked what he knew about his future when it came to the job, Orgeron said "I don't know anything".