LSU and coach Ed Orgeron have agreed to part ways after this season, 21 months after he led the Tigers to a national championship with what is considered one of the greatest teams in college football history.
“We have very high standards for all of our sports programs at LSU, and we will stand proudly behind our expectations of competing for SEC and national championships year in and year out,” athletic director Scott Woodward said Sunday night. “Our last two seasons have simply not met that standard, and based on our on-field results and our evaluation of the potential for future immediate success, it is time for a new direction.”
Sports Illustrated was first to report that Orgeron would not return to LSU in 2022.
While the timing of the announcement — the day after the Tigers (4-3) upset Florida — came as a surprise, the end for Coach O at LSU seemed to be approaching after a blowout loss to Kentucky last week.
The win over Florida at home Saturday made LSU 9-8 since beating Clemson in New Orleans for the national championship on Jan. 13, 2020.
“I have loved LSU since I first touched a football in Lafourche Parish in the late 1960s,” Orgeron, who grew up in Larose, Louisiana, said in a written statement posted by LSU. "I loved them every step of my professional journey — even from far away — as my career took me across America.
“I always understood the expectations at LSU, and they are the same expectations I have for myself and our staff,” Orgeron's statement said. “I am disappointed that we have not met these expectations over the past two years.”
Orgeron is 49-17 with the Tigers in six seasons, including 15-0 in 2019 when Joe Burrow won a Heisman Trophy and LSU earned its third national championship in 17 seasons — coming with three different coaches.
Orgeron received a six-year contract extension after the 2019 season. According to USA Today, he is scheduled to make $9 million this season, the second-highest salary in major college football behind Alabama's Nick Saban.