LSU coaching search: Report identifies Tigers' No. 1 target
In a coaching carousel report on Wednesday, Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel wrote it was “safe to say” there will be more college football coaching openings this offseason than what the average has been in the last 10 years (22.9).
LSU is arguably the biggest job on the market, and it’s already open. The Tigers announced on Oct. 17 they’d be parting ways with coach Ed Orgeron at the end of the year. Thamel wrote it’s the most attractive job on the market, something that won’t change regardless of what opens later.
Thamel also had a big name as the Tigers’ top target: Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher.
“Until another coach is walked to the podium at the news conference by athletic director Scott Woodward, it’s safe to project Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher as the target here,” he wrote. “That’s always been Woodward’s dream candidate, and his history of paying historic amounts for Fisher is the best empirical evidence of that desire. Who from there? The names are all familiar – James Franklin, Luke Fickell, Dave Aranda, Lane Kiffin and Mel Tucker. If it’s not Fisher, the name will be big and the price tag expensive. Expect the LSU-Texas A&M game to end the season in Baton Rouge to be a quintessential SEC spectacle.”
Woodward was the man who lured Fisher from Tallahassee to College Station in Dec. 2017, and most of the reporting indicates he’d like to try and do something similar in Baton Rouge. Fisher was also the offensive coordinator on LSU’s 2003 national championship team.
The Aggie head coach agreed to a contract extension in September that will keep him in town through the 2031 season at an annual salary beginning at $9 million in 2022 and rising each year on. A buyout would typically be an issue in these kinds of situations—and Fisher’s new buyout figure is the largest in college football history, per USA Today—but this situation is different. According to 247Sports, the language of Fisher’s contract means the buyout would only come into play if Fisher was fired by A&M for on-field performance, not if he left for another job.