The Les Miles era in Baton Rouge has come to an end.
A day after LSU fell to 2-2 with an 18-13 loss at Auburn, the school announced that Miles has been fired as head coach. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron has also been fired.
The decisions were made by athletic director Joe Alleva “with consultation from the Officers on the LSU Board of Supervisors and LSU President Dr. F. King Alexander.” It was also announced that defensive line coach Ed Orgeron will be the Tigers’ interim head coach, a role he held at USC in 2013 after the firing of Lane Kiffin.
“Decisions like this are never easy ones to make,” Alleva said in a press release. “Coach Miles has done a tremendous job here and he’s been a great ambassador for our University, which makes this even more difficult.
“However, it’s apparent in evaluating the program through the first month of the season that a change has to be made. Our commitment to excellence and competing at the highest level is unwavering, and our goals for the remainder of this season haven’t changed. We have an obligation to our student-athletes to put them in the best position to have success on the football field each week and we have great confidence that coach Orgeron will do just that.”
Earlier Sunday, the Baton Rouge Advocate, which first had the news of Miles’ firing, reported the Tigers coaching staff, including Miles, would be subject to “an extensive evaluation” over the next 24 hours.
The 2-2 start is the worst during Miles’ 12-year tenure with the Tigers.
This decision comes on the heels of Miles nearly losing his job during the midst of a three-game losing streak late in the 2015 season. Per The Advocate, Alexander did not sign off on a plan to fire Miles last November. The Tigers won the last game of the 2015 season over Texas A&M and Alleva told reporters after that game that Miles would keep his job.
Many picked LSU to rebound and contend for the College Football Playoff in 2016, but the Tigers lost their opener to Wisconsin at Lambeau Field. Wins over Jacksonville State and Mississippi State followed before Saturday’s 18-13 loss to Auburn.
After Saturday’s loss, the Tigers fell out of the AP Top 25 after opening the year at No. 5.
Much like it did in 2015, the LSU offense has struggled mightily despite having star running back Leonard Fournette and an array of skilled wide receivers at its disposal. Starting quarterback Brandon Harris was benched for Purdue transfer Danny Etling, who started the past two games. The offense has been criticized for being simplistic. Miles said throughout the offseason that it would change and improve, but that has not been the case so far in 2016.
On the whole, Miles’ time in Baton Rouge was very successful with a 114-34 overall record. He led the Tigers to the 2007 BCS national championship and also won the SEC in 2007 and 2011. However, the program lost a combined 10 conference games in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
Miles, 62, reportedly has a $12.9 million buyout.
The Tigers host Missouri on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
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