LSU breaks up with Bo Pelini after a season, while the Tigers review the staff of defensive coaches


A weak defensive season was enough for LSU coach Ed Orgeron and defensive coordinator Bo Pelini to break up. As part of the review of the defensive staff, LSU passed from Pelini after only one year and will buy it with a single payment, the Tigers announced on Monday evening.

“Although this year has been a challenge in many ways, the decision to return to LSU – a place I love with many wonderful memories – is something I am grateful for. However, after meeting with coach O and discussing the future of the program, we decided each other that it is best to break up, “Pelini said in a statement released by the program.

He is also expected to be safe coach Bill Busch and defensive line coach Bill Johnson will be released.

LSU completed a disappointing pursuit of its 2019 national championship with a 5-5 record. There were many reasons why the team failed to keep track of its title season – coaching staff fluctuations, NFL project statements and COVID-19 waivers – but perhaps nowhere more could be seen than on the defensive side of the ball.

The departure of Dave Aranda, who became coach at Baylor, along with a significant turnover of the list led to a defense that simply could not stop the SEC offenses or rule in the game. Returning as a defensive coordinator in his first game, Pelini’s defense gave up a single SEC game, breaking Mike Leach’s Mississippi state team record in a 44-34 loss. LSU finished 10th in the SEC in scoring defense and running while finishing last against the pass – just above Vanderbilt.

Getting rid of Pelini was not cheap. Lawyer Baton Rouge reported that Pelini “has guaranteed all the remaining income in his three-year contract of $ 2.3 million, which brings his purchase to about $ 5.2 million. … Orgeron has received a limited budget to restructure its staff, several sources said most will occupy. “

It is not known whether Pelini’s single payment was for the full amount, as the LSU statement stated that the payment was “instead of the liquidated damages detailed in his contract”.

This was Pelini’s second stint as LSU’s defensive coordinator, the first coming from 2005-07 under coach Les Miles. Pelini then left to become a coach in Nebraska, but was fired after seven seasons in 2014. He then took over his program from his hometown of Youngstown State, leading the Penguins to the 2016 Division I Championship. He left the program after five seasons. to return to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.