Dave Aranda fielded an excellent defense in his first year at LSU, and with the promotion of Ed Orgeron to head coach, he is cashing in as well.
Today, LSU announced that Aranda has been promoted to Associate Head Coach. With that promotion comes a hefty new salary as well.
From LSU's release on Aranda's promotion:
“We are pleased to have the best defensive coordinator in all of college football with us at LSU,” said Orgeron who first announced the agreement Sunday night. “Dave is an outstanding, coach, teacher and man. We are fortunate to have him as an LSU Tiger.”
“My family loves Baton Rouge,” said Aranda. “We are excited to build on what we’ve started. LSU is a special place. Our outstanding student-athletes, the passion of our fans, the first class facilities and the commitment to excellence from the administration makes LSU one of the premier programs in college football and I'm thrilled to be part of it.”
The agreement with Aranda runs through March 31, 2020, and includes a first-year salary of $1.8 million, followed by $1.85 million and $1.9 million respectively without any change to Aranda’s current bonus structure. His buyout options are 40 percent of his remaining guaranteed base and supplemental salary if he accepts a non-head coaching position within 500 miles of Baton Rouge and 15 percent if outside of 500 miles. After Dec. 1, 2019, there is no buyout provision.
According to CollegeFootballTalk, the raise makes Dave Aranda the highest-paid assistant in the sport's history, trumping the $1.6 million that Will Muschamp raked in during his one season as Auburn defensive coordinator, between head coaching stints at Florida and South Carolina.
The $1.8 million will, at least at the moment, make Aranda the highest-paid assistant coach in the history of college football, trumping the $1,6 million Will Muschamp pulled in as the defensive coordinator at Auburn in 2015. The highest-paid assistants in 2016 were Texas A&M DC John Chavis ($1.56 million), Clemson DC and Broyles Award winner Brent Venables ($1.43 million) and Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin ($1.4 million). Aranda was fourth at $1.315 million per the USA Today salary database.
Salaries across the college football landscape have been on the rise, but the willingness to pay for high-quality coordinators and assistants is one of the things that has made the SEC the sport's top conference for so long. Aranda's move from Wisconsin to LSU, and this big raise, further proves that difference.