LSU has hired Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Aranda to replace Kevin Steele in the same role, the school announced on Friday night.
Aranda is one of the fastest-rising coordinators in the college ranks. He has served as Wisconsin’s coordinator for three seasons. This past season was Aranda’s best in Madison, Wis., as the Badgers finished the season ranked second in scoring defense with an average of 13.7 points allowed per game and third in total defense with an average of 268.5 yards allowed per game.
“This is a great hire for us,” LSU coach Les Miles said. “Dave has an outstanding track record of producing some of the best defenses in college football. We’ve seen him up close and understand how difficult it is to have success against him.
“He’s everything that we were looking for in a defensive coordinator. He’s youthful with tremendous enthusiasm; our players are going to love him. He’s brings great defensive knowledge to our staff both as a technician and as a strategist. We are thrilled that he’s joining us.”
Steele served as LSU’s defensive coordinator for one season before leaving to take the same position at Auburn. The Tigers were 42nd in scoring defense this season and allowed 24.3 points per game under Steele. LSU had a particularly tough time against the pass and finished 62nd in nationally in passing defense and allowed an average of 224.3 passing yards per game. The Badgers finished seventh in that category and allowed a meager 173.2 passing yards per game.
Aranda served as Hawaii’s defensive line coach from 2008-09 before getting promoted to defensive coordinator from 2010-11. He then spent the 2012 season as Utah State’s defensive coordinator before landing at Wisconsin.