Ed Orgeron understands the importance of the coaches around him. Coach O made his biggest staff addition this offseason, bringing in Joe Brady, and he’s made it clear that he’ll do what he needs to keep him in Baton Rouge. That is the stance he’s taken with defensive coordinator Dave Aranda as well.
In early 2018, Texas A&M made a major run at Aranda, who has earned a reputation as one of the nation’s best coordinators in his time at LSU and Wisconsin. The Tigers responded by upping his pay to an eye-popping $2.5 million per year, more than most FBS head coaches.
It may be more difficult to keep him from making the jump up to the head coaching ranks, should he want to make that move. Per reports, he may have some intriguing opportunities.
Over in the Mountain West, a conference that Aranda has some experience in from his Utah State and Hawaii days, Colorado State and UNLV are both open. Some have applied the “Group of Five sleeping giant” label to both of these programs for various reasons.
From Sports Illustrated‘s Ross Dellenger, who previously worked on the LSU beat.
Some news here in New York, per sources: #LSU’s Dave Aranda, mentioned already at Colorado State, is also in the mix at #UNLV. He’s the highest-paid assistant in the country and wants to be a head coach.
School has spoken to #Oregon OC Marcus Arroyo and Matt Canada.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 10, 2019
Dave Aranda was also previously floated as a candidate for the Utah State job vacated by Matt Wells in 2018, which ultimately went to Gary Andersen in his second stint at the school.
If Aranda wants a head coaching opportunity, one would think that he might be able to hold out another year for a Power Five job, especially if LSU goes on to win a national championship. It also might be difficult for any of these schools to give him a salary bump from what he’s already making.
We’ll see where things go with this one. It would definitely add a major ripple for the Tiger’s College Football Playoff preparation, even if Aranda was to stay on through the postseason, as coordinators in this position typically do.