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Wednesday, July 17, 2019

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Orgeron promoted to interim head coach at LSU

Orgeron promoted to interim head coach at LSU

LSU fired head coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron on Sunday, and promoted defensive line coach and Larose native Ed “BeBe” Orgeron to interim head coach.

The moves came less than 24 hours after Miles briefly watched his players wildly celebrate what they thought was a game-winning touchdown pass at Auburn, only to walk off the field with a stunning, 18-13 upset loss after officials determined on video replay that time had expired before the ball was snapped.

"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 student-athletes 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, who replaced Nick Saban in 2005, went 114-34 at LSU, the second-most victories in school history behind Charles McClendon's 137 victories from 1962 to 1979.

Orgeron says that as a Louisiana native, it's "a dream" to have the opportunity to be LSU's head coach.

The 55-year-old Orgeron, who was formally introduced as Les Miles' interim replacement on Monday, says 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.

He says his only concern is the happiness of LSU players and seeing them win.

Orgeron says he's tapped current assistant Steve Ensminger, a former LSU quarterback, to replace offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.

He says the offense will be "tweaked" to feature more spread formations.

Orgeron, known by players as "Coach O," is a Larose native, a South Lafourche High School graduate, and renowned recruiter. He 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.

Orgeron joined the LSU staff in 2015 as defensive line coach and has since added the title of recruiting coordinator to his list of duties.

As a player, Orgeron was a four-year starter on the defensive line for Northwestern State, captaining the Demons as a senior. He received his bachelor's degree in liberal arts from Northwestern State in 1984.

He starred in football, basketball and track at South Lafourche High School.

He and his wife, Kelly, have 3 sons, Tyler, and twins Parker and Cody. Tyler is a member of the LSU football support staff, while twins Parker and Cody are in their first year as part of the McNeese State football team.

"Coach O brings new energy. He is pumped up. I am excited to play for coach O," center Ethan Pocic said. "It's not easy. College football is a business. The best thing I can do is do whatever coach O asks us. He's our coach now."

LSU's first game under Orgeron is Saturday in Tiger Stadium against Missouri.