The Brian Kelly era is young.
Kelly had a successful first year in Baton Rouge, and if he remains on that track, he’ll stick around for awhile.
But this is the coaching industry — nothing is certain and nothing is forever. Things happen. Coaches take unexpected jobs, retire without warning or get canned after one bad year.
Point being, change happens and it happens fast.
I think Kelly will remain at LSU for some time. I’ve always been optimistic about this administration, and Year 1 only furthered that belief. But there will be a day when Kelly is no longer leading LSU, and a replacement will be needed. It could be in two years or it could be in 10. This exercise is just for fun — until it isn’t.
Here are some coaches who could lead LSU in the future.
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This is an easy name to throw out there. Aranda served as LSU’s DC from 2016-19 before taking the head coaching position at Baylor.
The Bears didn’t have the best 2022, but Aranda led Baylor to a Big 12 title in 2021. The defensive prowess is second to none and nobody will question Aranda’s qualifications as an X’s and O’s guy.
Aranda will have to figure some things out next year. Recruiting isn’t the best and he had trouble replacing lost defensive talent from 2021, especially in the secondary. They’ve lost a couple of key players in the portal too.
But a conference title in Year 2 shouldn’t be ignored and Aranda has coaching talent. If he finds more success and LSU is in the market for a head coach, Aranda could make sense.
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As long as [autotag]Scott Woodward[/autotag] is leading LSU’s athletic department, Fisher’s name has to be on this list. It seems the two will always have a soft spot for each other.
Fisher’s time at A&M hasn’t been smooth sailing, but he’s still a guy that led Florida State to a national title and coordinated some good LSU offenses. He’ll be handing play-calling duties over to Bobby Petrino and there’s still plenty of talent there.
I wouldn’t rule out a turnaround. If Fisher is having success the next time LSU is looking for a coach, his name is sure to be talked about.
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Sarkisian coached Washington for five years with Woodward as his AD.
Now the head coach at Texas, Sarkisian is at a place that can pay him whatever he wants. If he’s the one to return Texas to national prominence, he might get whatever he wants.
But Texas is a place where the booster culture can get crazy. Tension runs wild in that athletic department. They might finally be getting it straightened out, but you could draw up a scenario where Sark wants out of there.
Woodward isn’t afraid of getting in a bidding war with other big-time programs and has made a name for himself by doing so. Sark could be just the big-name LSU wants.
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In his first year at Troy, Sumrall led the Trojans to 11-wins and a Sun Belt title. He’s from Alabama, only 40 years old and has spent most of his career coaching in the south.
He spent three years on staff at Tulane so he’s familiar with New Orleans and Louisiana. He’s been an assistant at Ole Miss and Kentucky, too.
Sumrall won’t be at Troy long. A bigger program is sure to come calling soon, even though he’s still a stop away from a blue-blood. The next time the LSU job opens, Sumrall could be a star.
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If Kelly has a long and successful run at LSU and a succession plan needs to be put in place, look no further than [autotag]Brad Davis[/autotag].
LSU’s current OL coach is a native of Baton Rouge. He served as LSU’s head coach in the 2021 Texas Bowl and his love for LSU and the state of Louisiana was obvious.
He’s a good coach too who has already shown he can recruit and develop – two key skills needed to run a program. Davis isn’t a play caller, which can hurt in these searches, but he strikes me as a guy that knows how to lead a program.