For the vast majority of his career, Ed Orgeron was one of the best personalities in college football. He could be fiery and intense, but he was also honest and charming and all of the things that make football coaches interesting.
Now that he’s the head coach at LSU, however, Orgeron has taken on a different personality. It’s a personality more appropriate for a head coach, perhaps, but it’s less entertaining for fans and reporters.
“I’m calmer now,” Orgeron said at SEC Media Days. “I’ve eased into the head-coach mode. I’ve always wanted to be a head coach. If I wanted to be a head coach, I needed to start acting like a head coach, not a defensive line coach.”
It’s understandable, but it’s sad.
“I miss Coach O,” CBSSports.com college football writer Dennis Dodd said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “I miss the old Coach O ripping off his shirt and challenging the Ole Miss players to a fight. I miss the Coach O who used to come home to Louisiana, stock up on crawfish, ice them down in the cooler, put them in the overhead, and fly back to L.A. when he was at USC. But he’s gotten either media training from someone or himself, and it just seems kind of stilted when that charming Cajun accent is spouting cliches all day.”
Orgeron went 12-4 as an interim coach at USC and LSU. Resuscitating two perennial powers amid transition and internal strife? That ain’t easy.
“Look, he’s a great coach. I’m not saying anything about his coaching,” Dodd said. “I just miss the color and passion of the old Coach O.”