The LSU Tigers are on top of the college football world, and LSU head coach Ed Orgeron is basking in the glory. Not only did he receive a $500,000 bonus for winning the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game, but he also got paid in a big-time way when it was over.
Before the season, Orgeron wasn’t even one of the 25 highest-paid NCAA coaches in the country. His bonus checks certainly elevated his status, and now he can yell “GEAUX TIGERS!” all the way to the bank.
According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and Fox Sports, LSU and Orgeron, the consensus Coach of the Year, agreed to a six-year contract extension worth over $42 million in January 2020. It’s the second year in a row the 58-year-old has earned a new contract, and this news likely means he will stay home in Louisiana until the end of his career.
LSU’s Ed Orgeron Signs Contract Extension
This should surprise absolutely nobody, especially considering what Orgeron has helped build in Baton Rouge. Since taking over as the interim coach in 2016, the Tigers are 40-9 and 11-1 in the last 12 games against top-10 foes. That’s incredible, and to say Orgeron deserves the pay increase is a massive understatement.
Playing in the SEC West during the regular season is no joke. Taking over for Les Miles, who was fired, was no easy task, either. Yet, Orgeron has exceeded any expectation, and then some. Capping it off with a 15-0 record and a convincing CFP national title win over Clemson on ESPN just adds more icing on the cake.
Orgeron originally signed a five-year deal when he took over the LSU football program. He then received a two-year extension before the 2019 season, which included a big salary increase. Now, he can officially say he’s among the top-paid college coaches in the country.
Ed Orgeron’s Salary
In 2019, Orgeron’s annually base salary was $4 million before any bonus incentives. He likely made around $5 million when it was all said and done. That’s definitely changed.
With the reported six-year deal worth more than $42 million — an average of at least $7 million per year — Orgeron has definitely been elevated to a new tax bracket, and rightfully so. Even Kentucky’s Mark Stoops made more than him last season.
With a big annual salary, Orgeron now belongs in the conversation with Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, Alabama’s Nick Saban, Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh, Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher, Georgia’s Kirby Smart, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley and Florida’s Dan Mullen, according to USA Today Sports’ salary database.
Winning certainly comes with a price, though. Orgeron will have to move forward without Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda (now the head coach at Baylor) and passing game coordinator Joe Brady, who took the offensive coordinator position with the NFL’s Carolina Panthers.
Even the Southeastern Conference is seeing turnover in 2020, including new head coaches at Missouri (Eliah Drinkwitz), Ole Miss (Lane Kiffin), Mississippi State (Mike Leach), and Arkansas (Sam Pittman).
From a graduate assistant at Northwestern State to Miami to Syracuse to the NFL to Tennessee to USC to LSU, and anywhere else in-between, It’s been a long, windy road for Orgeron in his career.
Ed Orgeron is back home now. He’s happy. He’s damn good at his job, and he’s not going anywhere. LSU athletic director Scott Woodward made sure of it.
This post was originally published on January 24, 2020.