New LSU assistant Mickey Jospeh will need to repair key relationships
A day after being reported as the top candidates, LSU has made it official in hiring USC’s Tommie Johnson as its new running backs coach and Louisiana Tech’s Mickey Joseph as its new wide receivers coach.
In some ways, it appears that Joseph, a native of Marrero, La. with experience coaching high school football in New Orleans, has an important task at hand already: repairing relationships in New Orleans.
On the day following National Signing Day, LSU coach Ed Orgeron announced that Jabbar Juluke would no longer be running backs coach. Although Juluke wasn’t completely cut from LSU (the announcement said he would reassigned in the athletic department), the move has caused friction in the heart of the Bayou.
The firing of Juluke has rubbed the New Orleans high school coaching community the wrong way. According to a report by Sam Spiegelman, several black head coaches in the New Orleans Metro area are meeting Thursday evening to discuss a potential boycott of LSU. Juluke has more than 17 years of area high school coaching experience, including his 10 seasons as Edna Karr High School’s head coach.
That storyline took an interesting turn later in the day as Memphis wide receivers coach David Johnson publicly turned down LSU. Johnson has a New Orleans coaching background, having coached at John F. Kennedy High, O. Perry Walker and St. Augustine before working on the Tulane staff for four seasons (2012-15).
While one might speculate that Johnson was showing solidarity to Juluke and his former peers in turning down the job, he told Tom Schad of the Memphis Commercial Appeal that his decision is about what feels right for him and his family at this time and his commitment to Memphis coach Mike Norvell.
“I just think Memphis is the best place for me right now, for me and my family,” Johnson said. “Mike Norvell is the key.”
That says a lot about Norvell, as Johnson told Schad that LSU offered more than his current salary of $175,000, and an opportunity to join an SEC coaching staff.
Now that Joseph has the job, Orgeron will certainly be hoping he can smooth things over in New Orleans.