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It was an eventful offseason in Baton Rouge to say the least.
Midway through a disappointing 2021 season for the Tigers, coach Ed Orgeron was informed he wouldn’t be returning in 2022. LSU stumbled down the stretch with a lame-duck coach and finished 6-7 with a loss to Kansas State in the Texas Bowl.
With a new coaching staff in place and a number of major additions in the transfer portal, the Tigers did a lot to get things back on track. Brad Crawford of 247Sports recently broke down every SEC team’s biggest move this offseason, and his selection for LSU was far from surprising: the hiring of coach Brian Kelly.
Kelly won 10 or more games seven times at Notre Dame and at least appeared to be one of college football’s untouchable coaches during a wild cycle last fall that kickstarted with Lincoln Riley leaving Oklahoma for USC. The Tigers took their time with their coaching search post-Ed Orgeron and landed one of the nation’s biggest fish, pulling an elite leader from a top 10 program. Kelly finished 113-40 record in South Bend and holds a 166-62 all-time record at the Division I level (145-62 adjusted by NCAA).
Kelly is the FBS’ third-winningest active coach, and though he’s still looking for a national title, LSU would have been hard-pressed to land a more proven coach this offseason. Still, the SEC will provide a new challenge for Kelly, Notre Dame’s all-time wins leader.
The Tigers’ last three head coaches all won national titles, and none were as established in the industry as Kelly when they took the job. That means expectations for the new staff will be sky-high, but there are a lot of reasons to be pleased with the latest big fish athletic director Scott Woodward managed to reel in.
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