BATON ROUGE, La. — Ed Orgeron is going to do what he hinted all along, after all. According to a report from The Advocate, Orgeron and LSU are promoting tight ends coach Steve Ensminger to be the Tigers new offensive coordinator.
LSU has not confirmed that the decision is final, but it is expected to be made official by the end of the week.
Orgeron had mentioned Ensminger as a candidate for the job as early as November, when he alluded to the possibility that Matt Canada would be headed elsewhere this offseason. His direction was made even more clear when Canada and LSU officially parted ways this weekend.
“We will identify a coach with a wealth of experience who is totally committed to the vision of the program and has the drive to do whatever it takes to see it through,” Orgeron said after disposing of Canada.
Ensminger’s work ethic is often cited by Orgeron as one of his top traits. Ensminger has been coaching on the offensive side of the ball since 1982. However, outside of last year’s eight-game stint as LSU’s interim offensive coordinator, he has not called plays since 1998 at Clemson.
Outside of the Alabama game, the offense did succeed under Ensminger in 2016. In the eight games after he took over for Cam Cameron, the offense averaged 32 points and 464.9 yards per game as well as 7.1 yards per play.
Expected to join Ensminger in a full-time role is 73-year-old Jerry Sullivan, who served the team as a consultant to wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph this fall. Sullivan worked as a wide receivers coach in the NFL from 1992-2016 save a one-year stint as the Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator in 2003.
Sullivan’s role has not yet been defined, but passing game coordinator looms as a likely title.
“We have a lot of talent coming up on offense,” Orgeron said Friday night via a school release. “We want to put our players in the best possible position to succeed, which means improving our vertical passing game and developing our quarterbacks and wide receivers to be at their absolute best.”
The Tigers ranked 76th in scoring offense, 54th in total offense, 84th in passing offense, 28th in rushing offense, 17th in passing efficiency and 105th in red zone scoring percentage during Canada’s only year at the helm.
Ensminger was an LSU quarterback from 1976-79. He and Orgeron first worked together at McNeese State, where Ensminger was the Cowboys offensive coordinator and Orgeron a graduate assistant in 1985.