For LSU’s new defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, arriving in Baton Rouge, La. fulfilled a lifelong dream.
Wisconsin’s former defensive chief has been a rising star in the coaching ranks the past few seasons and admitted that making it to the SEC was something he had always strived toward.
“I feel blessed and I’m humbled,” Aranda said in his introductory press conference according to Gannett’s Glenn Guilbeau. “I’ve always wanted to coach in this league.”
This was the second year in a row that LSU has been forced to search for a defensive coordinator after Kevin Steele, coordinator for the 2015 season, left to take the same position at Auburn.
Steele was originally hired to replace the departed John Chavis, who bolted for Texas A&M following a reported contract dispute with the school. Last year’s coaching search made this year’s decision much easier, coach Les Miles said.
“Extensive search took place a year ago,” Miles said according to Higgins. “The absolute star was Dave Aranda.”
Wisconsin’s defense finished second nationally in scoring defense (13.7 points allowed per game) and third in total defense (268.5 yards allowed per game) under Aranda’s watch this season. He said his defensive identity includes an aggressive mindset he calls “smart aggression” that takes some principles from the offensive side of the ball.
Aranda also discussed his versatility as a coordinator and a coach during his press conference. He said he will adapt his schemes to what best works with LSU’s roster.
Athletic director Joe Alleva seemed ecstatic about the hiring on Tuesday. After a tumultuous season that nearly concluded Alleva firing Miles, he seems to be pleased with where the program is headed.
“The future of our program is bright,” Alleva said in his closing remark according to Guilbeau.