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Orgeron Turned Down Extra $250,000 From LSU To Go To UT

The courtship of Ed Orgeron was rather intriguing.

The former Ole Miss head coach was not only the object of Tennessee’s desire, but LSU coach Les Miles threw an all-out blitz on his former coaching rival.

Tennessee won out.

Here’s how it unfolded.

Orgeron, defensive line coach for the New Orleans Saints, had talked with Lane Kiffin for more than a month about joining Kiffin at Tennessee – even before Kiffin was officially hired. The two had coached together previously at Southern Cal.

While Orgeron said he enjoyed his one season as an NFL assistant, he said he wants to be a college head coach again, so he entertained offers from both LSU and Tennessee.

Orgeron went to Destin, Florida, for a few days and told each program he would make a decision by January 1st. When Lane Kiffin felt he was losing the battle, Lane and his father, Monte Kiffin, UT’s newly hired defensive coordinator, flew to Destin and knocked on Orgeron’s condo door.

The Kiffins convinced Orgeron to take the Tennessee job and offered him $650,000, about $50,000 more than LSU had offered.

When LSU coach Les Miles heard Orgeron was taking the Tennessee job as assistant head coach and recruiting coordinator, Miles drove to New Orleans after LSU’s win in the Chick-fil-A bowl and offered Orgeron a whopping $900,000.

Orgeron declined, saying he had given Tennessee and Kiffin his word that he would join the Vols’ staff.

Thus, Orgeron turned down $250,000 to go to Knoxville.

LSU recently hired former Tennessee defensive coordinator John Chavis to run its defense. You’ve got to wonder how Chavis, who will make about $500,000, feels about Miles offering Orgeron some $400,000 more than Chavis’ salary.

You’ve also got to wonder if Chavis was on board with Orgeron joining the LSU staff.

And you have to wonder if Orgeron preferred working under Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator as opposed to Chavis.  That’s what Orgeron’s friend Bobby Hebert told Louisiana reporters.

Bill Johnson, former Denver Broncos’ defensive line coach, is considered a strong candidate for the defensive line job at LSU. Johnson has coached at Miami and Texas A&M, among others.

Also, LSU is interested in hiring Vance Joseph as secondary coach. Joseph, who played at Colorado but is a New Orleans native, is secondary coach for the 49ers.

At Tennessee, Lane Kiffin has hired five coaches: his dad, Orgeron, David Reaves, Jim Chaney and James Cregg.

Asked if running backs coach Stan Drayton would remain on the staff, Kiffin was non-committal, saying only that Drayton is being considered for a permanent position. Drayton would be the only holdover retained from Tennessee’s staff under Phillip Fulmer.

UT is looking for a running backs coach, a secondary coach, a receivers coach and a special teams coach.
If Tennessee’s assistant staff salaries total about $4 million as expected, that would be more than double last year’s pay of $1.92 million.

However, when you consider Lane Kiffin’s salary of $2 million and Fulmer projected to make $2.75 million in 2009, the total payouts for staffs will differ by about $1 million.

The assistant pool under Fulmer was expected to rise to about $2.2 million, and with Fulmer’s pay hike, the total would be about $5 million.

Kiffin and his nine assistants are expected to make about $6 million.



You might want to change your story since it has been proven absolutely false. Several sources have confirmed that Miles was with the team when they arrived in Baton Rouge. The final offer was $600,000 according to many within the athletic office and this crap is just orange propaganda to make the hire look better. You got the guy. Be happy with that. You had better hope you like O, because you will probably be stuck with him when Monte pickes up his fishing poll in a couple of years. Do you really think he went to UT for $50k and to be Monte's stooge? He will be your DC in two years.


  1. [...] a distraction to Sean Payton and the rest of the team.  Also, the guys over at MrSEC have the play-by-play on how Orgeron ended up a Vol, instead of a Tiger.  It’s a must [...]

  2. [...] They say that he was offered a bigger salary than Tennessee had offered.Here at MrSEC, Ace Reporter Jimmy Hyams broke that story in detail last Friday (January [...]

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