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Former LSU defensive coach to return after Aranda's exit

4 years 5 months 2 weeks ago Monday, January 27 2020 Jan 27, 2020 January 27, 2020 1:39 PM January 27, 2020 in Sports
Source: WBRZ TV

BATON ROUGE - The defensive coordinator who helped coach LSU to its previous national title in 2007 will return to the reigning national champions next season.

Bo Pelini will replace Dave Aranda as the Tigers' defensive coordinator, the football team confirmed Monday afternoon.  Pelini is the current head coach of Youngstown State and previously worked as the LSU DC under Les Miles.

Sports Illustrated reporter Ross Dellenger broke the news on Twitter earlier in the day and reported Pelini will be paid about $2 million a year.  

Aranda left LSU to take over as head coach of Baylor University roughly a week after the Tigers claimed the national championship. 

"We are privileged to have one of the top defensive coordinators in all of football in Bo Pelini join our staff," Coach Ed Orgeron said in a statement. "Bo has had some of the best defenses in football during his career and we are looking forward to him bringing his tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise back to LSU to continue to win championships."

"The opportunity to return to LSU is truly unique," Pelini said. "Culturally, with my prior experience at LSU, I know it is a great fit for me. The chance to work with Coach Orgeron, the ability to take charge of the Tigers defense, is something that I'm extremely excited about. All of that in a place that both my family and I immensely enjoyed when we were there before is very exciting for us.  We are very honored and looking forward to this next chapter."

With Pelini as defensive coordinator, LSU led the SEC in scoring defense twice in 2006 and 2007. LSU allowed only 12.6 points per game in 2006, which ranked No. 4 nationally, while the 14.2 points per game the Tigers gave up in 2005 rated No. 2 in the league and No. 3 in the nation.
Under Pelini, LSU averaged 38 sacks a season over that three-year span and the Tiger defense was credited with a combined 71 turnovers, which included 36 in 2007, a figure that led the SEC and ranked No. 3 nationally. 

Pelini's hire is pending expected rubber-stamp approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors.

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