NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Coach O attained a lifelong dream being named the full-time head coach at LSU, but it was bittersweet. “Big Ed” his dad, a diehard Tiger fan, wasn’t alive to see the glorious moment. A few years later, "Big Ed’s son is running a top-ten program, primed to make a national title run in 2019.
“He’d love it. He’d love the way we’re playing tough. He’d love this season. The way we blocked out the noise. We didn’t listen to everyone else saying we’re going to do this, we’re going to do that. The way our team fights. He’d love to be at the games,” said Ed Orgeron.
You’re making a reported $3.5M right now. He worked for the phone company. What would he say if he was around, and he saw the kind of money you were making right now as the head football coach at LSU.
“Save it,” said a laughing Orgeron.
Now it wouldn’t take much for Ed to get approval from his daddy. But, Tiger fans are a little more pessimistic. They expect a lot out of the program, and will take extreme measures to get their point across, even if that means interrupting O’s daily jog.
“They stop me. Geaux Tigers. They always have a suggestion. Which I know is just part of being the head coach at LSU.”
You go out in public. How tough is it. The fans have a say, and they want to say how they feel about the program. How do you weigh being nice, but also, alright I’ll talk to you later.
“I stay neutral. I love it. It’s their opinion. I’ve been a fan of LSU all my life, and I have some opinions. So I know how they are, and I know how it is. I know what we’re doing on a daily basis, and I feel good about it.”
LSU fans might still need more convincing that O is “the one.” Back in 1996, convincing a young lady named Kelly that he was marriage material, was a much easier sell. Two months after a blind date, they eloped.
“I just took one look at here. I could figure that out man,” said a beaming Orgeron. “She’s a good girl. She was raised the right way. My family was OK with it. I think her mother was a little nervous about it. But we knew it was the right thing for us. I was 35, she was 33. We were at a good age. We knew what we were doing, mature adults. Lo and behold 22 years later, we’re still doing it.”
Did you have to, in those two months, tell her how it’s going to be. Because the life of an assistant coach, which you were at the time, is extremely hard on not only the individual but the people around them.
“I would not dare tell her that, I wanted to marry her first. I recruited her the whole time,” said Orgeron.