Most big college football fans have heard some crazy Ed Orgeron stories. The LSU head coach, who previously led Ole Miss and has served as an assistant all over, is known as one of the top recruiters in the country. He’s also famously intense when it comes to firing up his guys.
That might not have totally worked for Orgeron back in his Ole Miss days. He was just 10-25 in three years with the Rebels with a putrid 3-21 mark in SEC play. He was head coach in Oxford from 2005-07.
Orgeron went on to be an assistant under Lane Kiffin, and eventually the interim head coach, at USC. He made the same progression at LSU, taking over for Les Miles when he stepped away from the team. Orgeron eventually had the interim tag pulled, and is now entering his second year as full-time head coach.
Apparently, he hasn’t really toned things down much, at least pregame. A number of players told AL.com about his pregame ritual.
One thing that Ed Orgeron does to get players pumped up: chugging red bulls, crushing the cans on his head, and then punching himself in the jaw.
“He’s something else, that’s for sure,” said former LSU quarterback Danny Etling, a transfer who came from Purdue after growing up in Indiana. “There’s almost a language barrier.”
Each former Tiger who recalled their favorite Orgeron stories did so with a smile.
“Before one of the games,” Etling said, “he’ll come down and drink a whole Red Bull, smashes it on his head, lifts off his shirt and he’s punching himself in the jaw getting us ready, pumped up to play. That’s Coach O for you.”
Pretty much every player asked had a similar story.
“It’s a real serious punch,” said Toby Weathersby, another ex-LSU offensive lineman who spoke with AL.com at the NFL combine. “Then he’ll look at us and start growling. He’ll give us a growl and you know what time it means. It’s time to go win a ball game.”
It left an impression.
“He was punching,” (offensive lineman K.J.) Malone said. “I tried to do it. I thought, dang. He’s probably one of the best coaches I’ve been around.”
We doubt that Nick Saban or Kirby Smart are doing similar things. Maybe Will Muschamp, who is similarly fiery. However, it is no surprise that Coach O takes his motivational techniques to the next level.