BATON ROUGE, La. — Members of the national media continue to be fascinated by the ascent of Ed Orgeron, who is definitely a factor in LSU’s full-time head-coaching search thanks to the success he’s experiencing as an interim.
On the SEC Coaches Teleconference on Wednesday morning, Orgeron explained in layman’s terms why things are so much different for him now than they were during a failed stint at Ole Miss from 2005 to ’07 or even when he went 6-2 as USC’s interim head coach in 2013.
“Pete Carroll, it took him his third coaching job for him to realize what kind of coach he wanted to be,” Orgeron said. “This is my third coaching job, and I feel we’ve identified some things.”
Indeed, Carroll was the definition of average in his first two head-coaching positions, going 33-31 in four combined seasons with the New York Jets and New England Patriots.
But when he came to the college game, Carroll found his groove, winning two national championships at USC and continuing that success back in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks.
Orgeron worked for Carroll as a defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Southern Cal from 2001 to ’04, so there aren’t many better frames of reference for him to draw from.
As “Coach O” has talked about extensively with local media since taking over for Les Miles, the changes have to do with being more of a head coach and less of a position coach.
“I found out you can’t treat your coaching staff the way you treat a defensive lineman,” Orgeron said. “You can’t treat a quarterback the way you treat a defensive lineman. They all handle things different.”
It is a different Pete — current LSU interim D-line coach Pete Jenkins — whom Orgeron credits for helping him see that light.
“He’s my mentor. He’s the reason I had success (as interim coach) at USC,” Orgeron said. “He’s one of the big reasons we’re having success here.”