Bo Pelini opens up on his return to LSU: 'It's an honor to be back here'
LSU hired Youngstown State head coach Bo Pelini earlier this year to replace defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who left for the head coaching job at Baylor. Pelini received a 3-year, $2.3 million deal.
He previously served the same position at LSU from 2005-07 under Les Miles, including helping the Tigers win the BCS National Championship during the 2007 season.
Now, he’s back, and he recently opened up on returning at LSU’s Annual Coaches Clinic, which was cut short due to the outbreak of coronavirus.
“It’s an honor to be back here,” Pelini said. “When I left, my time at Nebraska and when I went back to Youngstown, it was for a reason. It was family oriented. It was all about where I wanted my kids to graduate high school. I ended up staying and during that time I had a number of different opportunities. To be honest with you, I didn’t even take them to my wife. I didn’t even bring them up.
“But when this came up and Coach O called, it was about 30 seconds before I went to my wife and I was nervous. I went up to her and said, LSU wants to talk here tomorrow about me going back there. I thought she was going to lay into me saying are you crazy? She looked at me and said, ‘you’re going to talk right?’”
Pelini then said the magic word — culture.
“This place is special to me and I feel like it’s my second home. To me it’s about the culture. Obviously, Coach O’s culture and the culture here at LSU with the things he represents and the things this program represents, with the winning and all that. But the culture of the state, the people, the work ethic, I just always felt at home here.
“I’ve talked to a lot of people and they say, ‘what’s the most special place you’ve worked?’ And I say LSU. And the reason why was because the kids from Louisiana, they set the culture in the program with the way they work and they were brought up the right way in the sport and at home and they set the culture. It doesn’t matter how many kids you bring in from out-of-state, they all basically fall in or the Louisiana kids are going to show you the door.
“It’s an honor for me to be back here.”
Pelini compiled a 66-27 record as Nebraska’s head coach in 7 seasons. During the last 5 years, he recorded a 33-28 overall record at Youngstown State.