There may not be a college football coach that is the subject of more incredible anecdotes than LSU’s Ed Orgeron. With just a few days until his first national championship appearance as a head coach, ESPN has collected many of them, from his childhood to this season.
A number of Orgeron’s players reflect on him as head coach now, or as a recruiter a few years ago. We also hear from Pete Carroll, and other major figures that Orgeron worked for throughout his career.
There is also the famous Joe Burrow recruiting story, which was recounted last month. He explained a bit further just how he could get a restaurant to get 15 pounds of crawfish out of nowhere (and confirmed that they ate the entire thing).
The best quote may come from his time at Syracuse, of all places. Orgeron coached under the highly successful Paul Pasqualoni from 1995-97, a particularly strong stretch for the Orange in which they went 9-3, 9-3, and 9-4, winning the Big East in the last two seasons, and going to Gator, Liberty, and Fiesta Bowls.
Ed Orgeron’s time at Syracuse was very meaningful for him. Back in 2015, he lobbied for the Orange head coaching job, which eventually went to Dino Babers.
In the ESPN piece, longtime SU football equipment manager Kyle Fetterly remembers a time when he asked Coach O why he was showing up to workout at 4 a.m. before 5:45 workouts.
Orgeron was always the first guy in, full of energy, and he’d work out on the field just before practice — sit-ups, push-ups, chin-ups, squat thrusts. One day, one of Fetterly’s assistants stopped him.
“Coach, you’re in good shape. Why do you do all this?” he asked.
Orgeron looked stunned. To take a day off would mean falling behind, and that’s not something Orgeron would ever do.
“Son,” he said, “the day I can’t whoop a man’s ass is the day I don’t get out of bed.”
There’s nothing that really needs to be added there. It’s a perfect Coach O story.
He and LSU take on Clemson in New Orleans for the national title on Monday, January 13.