How long will Dave Aranda and Matt Canada both be at LSU?
SEC Country reporter Alex Hickey will answer your LSU Tigers sports queries each weekday in our LSU Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryLSU, @bigahickey or by email to Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LSU Question of the Day: Thursday, Nov. 9
Once again it’s your favorite time of day: the LSU mailbag question of the day. Since it’s Week 1 of this project, we will let you take a look at what has already been asked.
Monday: Is Devin White the frontrunner to wear No. 18 next year?
Tuesday: Even if LSU wins out, will this season be considered a disappointment?
Wednesday: Sam Spiegelman’s LSU recruiting mailbag
How long are we gonna have both Aranda and Canada? Hopefully after at least 2 more recruiting classes
— John Learn (@PeachEnthusiast) November 8, 2017
An intriguing question from John Learn, who somehow beat everyone in Georgia to the Twitter handle “Peach Enthusiast.”
First, let’s start with the facts.
Dave Aranda’s contract runs through the end of the 2019 season. The Tigers’ defensive coordinator will make $1.85 million next year and $1.9 million in 2019.
Matt Canada’s contract also runs through the end of the 2019 season and pays $1.5 million per year.
If either coach leaves LSU on their own volition for another coordinator job, there’s a hefty buyout. Based on that information, it’s safe to say the next step for either coach would be a promotion to a head-coaching job or as a coordinator in the NFL.
Anything beyond those facts is a deep dive into speculation that’s difficult to verify, particularly when coaching is such a year-to-year existence. For example, virtually no one could have gone into this season thinking the Florida job would come open after Jim McElwain won back-to-back SEC East titles. And yet here we are.
We do know that Aranda is highly regarded in the coaching community. He’s been nominated for the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant for the third straight year. That’s the path to a more prominent job sooner than later.
It all depends on what he’s looking for in his next position. A return to his West Coast roots? A chance to see what he can do at the next level?
Either way, he’s in a position where he doesn’t need to move on unless he’s found a perfect fit. I don’t see Aranda eagerly jumping into a rebuilding project. As someone in demand, he has the ability to choose. Thus, I could see him with a bigger job as soon as next year. And I could also see him waiting it out another year or two for the perfect gig to arrive.
As for Canada, it would be massively surprising if he leaves LSU before the end of next season. Whereas Aranda feels like he’s on more of an NFL track with his love of Xs-and-Os, I would expect the enthusiastic Canada to be a head coach some day.
As a Midwestern guy, a head-coaching gig in the Mid-American Conference would be the perfect fit.
One future landing spot for the Indiana native could be Ball State, but the Cardinals are only in their second year under Mike Neu, so that wouldn’t happen anytime soon. Another logical spot is Northern Illinois, where he previously worked as offensive coordinator. But current coach Rod Carey is in the comfort zone of being good enough to avoid the hot seat but not so great where he is in high demand.
Neither Matt Canada nor Dave Aranda will be at LSU forever. Ideally, the Tigers will get at least another year with the dynamic duo. But if a better opportunity does arise for either one, you can rest assured a talented list of candidates will be eager to replace them.