LSU athletic director Joe Alleva has laid out what he is looking for in the Tigers’ next head coach. Out of all of the requirements, winning championships is of utmost importance.
LSU is looking for a permanent replacement at head coach after firing Les Miles in September and naming Ed Orgeron the interim coach for the rest of the season. For athletic director Joe Alleva, there are a few qualities that a person has to have to become the next leader of the Tigers football program.
In a letter to LSU fans, Alleva laid out the guidelines for what he expects from the new coach.
“His first directive from me will be to create a culture of excellence and character in every facet of our football program in order to compete at a championship level every year. He must have the highest standards of integrity and work ethic LSU fans have come to expect. He must be a skilled and relentless recruiter, attracting the most gifted student-athletes to our university while instilling pride and confidence in parents who entrust their children to our program. He must be able to motivate our players to perform at the highest level, and to hold them accountable to certain standards of behavior both on and off the field. He must be committed to continuing a tradition defined by character and integrity.”
Reading the letter, you might think that, yes, it sounds like everything Miles brought to the LSU program in his 11-plus seasons. However, Alleva’s next line could be seen as a direct address of the way Miles ran his team.
“He [the next coach] must have the instinct to adapt to changes in the game of college football, allowing LSU to compete for championships every year.”
Miles’ reluctance to shake up his offensive philosophy, along with a loyalty to offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, turned out to be his downfall. The Tigers continually struggled to put points on the board and showed a remarkable inability to develop a quarterback that defenses feared.
Alleva’s first choice seems to be Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher, who has turned the Seminoles into national title contenders again after a few down years in the last few seasons under the legendary Bobby Bowden. North Carolina head coach Larry Fedora and Oklahoma State Mike Gundy are also high on the wish list.
Whoever becomes the next head coach will take over a team that is loaded with talent, and will enter a state ripe with high school prospects who dream of playing for the Tigers.
The expectations are high, as evidenced by the firing of Miles, who led LSU to a national championship in 2007 and two SEC titles. Tigers fans and the LSU brass expect championships, not just exceptional seasons where the team is ranked and a lucrative bowl game is the reward at the end of the season. Playing in the SEC West makes that even more difficult than normal.
The Tigers will find the right man for the job, and the new coach will say all the right things and have the LSU faithful fired up. It is what he produces on the field that ultimately matters, though.