Ed Orgeron's Mom: "I'll be going to Ed's games, yeah"
BATON ROUGE – There was a long pause from the phone line in Larose, boyhood home of the 33rd and newest head football coach at LSU. That’s counting all interims, including Ed Orgeron, who on Saturday erased that part of his title.
“Oh my God,” Cornelia “Coco” Orgeron, Ed’s mother, said of the late Ed Orgeron, Sr., and sobbed. “His daddy would have been so proud. I’m so sorry he’s not here to see this. But, I'm so happy.”
Orgeron, 55, has completed the circle – from LSU football signee in 1979 out of South Lafourche High for two weeks, to Northwestern State, to 12 coaching stops around the country, back to LSU as an assistant, then as the interim head coach last Sept. 25 and finally as the head coach on Saturday.
“Oh, you think I’m a happy camper or something? Yes,” Mrs. Orgeron said. “I’m so proud of the state of Louisiana and LSU. What a proud day for my whole family.”
Orgeron called his mother with the news Saturday morning. LSU athletic director Joe Alleva named him LSU’s football coach after promoting him to interim coach from defensive line coach/recruiting coordinator when Les Miles was fired as head coach.
“That’s the best phone call I’ve ever received,” Coco said. “That was a good one.”
Her son’s dream came true. What he visualized every time he crossed the Mississippi River bridge on Interstate 10 and eyed Tiger Stadium has happened.
“In my heart, I knew he always wanted to be the LSU coach ever since he decided he wanted to be a coach,” she said. “He broke his arm in his last year at Northwestern State. He tried out for a USFL team, but the coach told him he was too small. He said he told him, ‘Thank you. I’ll be a football coach.’ He knew that. And, look, he did it! Hot dang!”
Orgeron could not stop from choking up himself when he thanked his mother and late father at his introductory press conference at LSU on Saturday.
“Last of all, I’d like to thank my mom and dad for all they’ve done,” he said, but couldn’t finish the sentence. “This is a great day. This is a great day in my life, obviously. But it’s not about me. It’s about the people of Louisiana. It’s about LSU, about all of us pulling together – one team, one heartbeat.”
Orgeron took a 2-2 LSU team and went 5-2 to finish 7-4 overall and 5-3 in the Southeastern Conference. He won the five games by an average margin of victory of nearly four touchdowns – 217 to 130, including a 54-39 win over No. 22 Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night.
But a 16-10 loss to Florida just a week ago Saturday because of some major snafus at the goal line, particularly at the very end of the game on the 1-yard line, was believed to have put Orgeron’s candidacy in jeopardy. LSU offered the job to Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher on Wednesday and to Houston coach Tom Herman on Thursday for upwards of $6 million a year, but neither accepted. Orgeron is expected to be paid between $3.5 and $4 million a year.
“He surprised a lot of people,” Mrs. Orgeron said. “He knows a lot about football. He loves football. It’s his passion. That’s his life. And he loves children, and he likes to teach them. And is he powerful? He is going to win. He’ll make a great head football coach.”
Mrs. Orgeron paused again, exhaled and gathered herself.
“The state of Louisiana has hired my son to be the head football coach at LSU,” she said. “I love it. I love football. I can’t wait for the year to pass so I can go to the first football game next season. I’ll be going to Ed’s games, yeah.”
Coverage of LSU and commentary by Glenn Guilbeau supported by Hebert’s Town & Country Automobile Dealer in Shreveport located at 1155 East Bert Kouns Loop. Research your next Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep or Ram at http://hebertstandc.com/.)