Joe Brady is going to go down as one of the most important assistant coaches in LSU history, even if his time in Baton Rouge was short. Brady helped transform LSU's offensive into one of the best of all time, and helped Joe Burrow become a Heisman winner and No. 1 pick.
He was the subject of many NFL rumors, up until he chose to follow Baylor's Matt Rhule to the NFL. Brady is the new offensive coordinator of the Carolina Panthers, a giant leap forward from where he was just two years ago, as a low-level staffer on the New Orleans Saints staff. Even so, LSU thought they'd retain him for at least another year.
In early January, reports emerged that Brady had signed a memorandum of agreement on a big new contract with the school. That obviously wasn't so binding that it prevented him from jumping up to the NFL. Just days later, he was out the door to the Panthers.
The decision reportedly surprised head coach Ed Orgeron and others at LSU at the time. In a new feature piece about new LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, Sports Illustrateddropped a tidbit about Joe Brady's departure. Ed Orgeron said that he found out from "somebody else" that he was leaving.
There's a long history of coaches leaving without a true goodbye, but even so, it never looks great. From Ross Dellenger's piece:
This is a point of contention in Baton Rouge. Orgeron expected Brady to remain on staff. The 30-year-old had even signed a memorandum of agreement, a document binding him to a contract with the school. But it also included a clause allowing him to leave for a college head coaching job or the pro ranks. A day after the national championship win over Clemson, Orgeron learned of Brady’s departure while on the 90-minute bus ride from the championship site, New Orleans, to Baton Rouge. “I found out from somebody else that it was going on,” Orgeron says in an interview in his office in March.
The situation is contrasted with that of new Baylor head coach Dave Aranda, LSU's defensive coordinator for years under Orgeron. The LSU head coach reportedly had a plan in place—hiring the former LSU DC and Nebraska head coach Pelini—for that departure, indicating it did not come as a surprise.
As for the passing coordinator spot vacated by Brady, Orgeron hired longtime NFL assistant Scott Linehan to join Steve Ensminger atop the offensive staff.