Ed Orgeron knew this was his chance to become a head coach again. He had been under the interim tag before, and the opportunity had slipped away. While LSU was trying to find a permanent replacement for Les Miles, Orgeron pulled out all the stops.
Of course, he got the job. And LSU’s head man told the story to SB Nation’s Steven Godfrey, in great detail and in a way only Coach O can, of the couple days during last Thanksgiving during which all the dominos fell in his favor.
Orgeron said that despite doing his best to block out the rumors, he heard “whisperin'” in the days leading up to, and even on the sideline of the Texas A&M game. Jimbo Fisher had been offered the LSU job, no Tom Herman had.
“As ESPN showed LSU thumping A&M, 54-39, ESPN reported LSU had offered the job to Houston head coach Herman. The game became a subplot to its own Bottom Line graphic.”
Orgeron met with LSU AD Joe Alleva the next day.
‘Me, Derek, and Austin [Thomas, LSU’s player personnel director], we thought we were gonna get offered the job that day,’ Orgeron told SB Nation. ‘We had our plan, we go in, we sat at that table, and we’re ready to go. We walk in there, and … within a minute, we knew we were in second place. We just knew it.’
So what did Orgeron do about it, knowing how deeply he wanted the job? He starts selling himself to Alleva like he’s a No. 1 recruiting prospect.
“‘We walked out the door, he said. ‘We were white as ghosts, man. So you know what we did? Started competing! [He snaps his fingers again, loudly.) Kept on competing. Got calls going into Joe. Pete [Carrol] called him, Lane [Kiffin] called him, bang bang bang.”
It worked. Oregon and his colleagues proved themselves on the field and in the recruiting of the athletic director. He got the job offer the next morning.
“‘So I pull up, man, and Joe’s standing there, right in front of the Tiger (statue), man,’ Orgeron said. ‘I’ll never forget it. I get out, and he says ‘Well, you want the job or what?’ I grab him! I’m bear-huggin’ his ass! I’m bear-huggin’ him, screaming, ‘YES, YES, YES!’ He says ‘Alright then, put me down! Put me down!’”
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