LSU Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron has accomplished just about everything one can this season in Baton Rouge. After thrillingly beating Alabama and handily winning the SEC Championship Game against the Georgia Bulldogs, Coach O’s Tigers are thinking national championship as they square off against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Orgeron’s dream season, of course, will include hardware no matter what. On Wednesday, the coach head coach took home SEC Coach of the Year honors for leading the Tigers to an undefeated 13-0 regular season thus far. Orgeron marks the eighth LSU coach to win the award and last since Les Miles in 2011.
SEC Coach of the Year: LSU’s Ed Orgeron
Orgeron has come a long way in his coaching career.
The 58-year-old was born and raised in Louisiana and played defensive lineman for Northwestern State University. He worked as an assistant coach with stops at major programs like Arkansas, Miami and USC before earning his first full-time head coaching position at Ole Miss.
After a failed tenure with the Rebels, he bounced from the NFL’s New Orleans Saints to the University of Tennessee and back to USC as an assistant coach before working his way to head coach at LSU. Through four seasons in Baton Rouge, he’s 38-9 and has taken the Tigers to a bowl game in every year at the helm of the program.
Orgeron couldn’t have constructed his magical 2019-20 season without some star power on the field. Quarterback Joe Burrow is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, and he has a bevy of talent behind him like All-SEC first team players Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Ja’Marr Chase and Derek Stingley Jr., plus second team players like Justin Jefferson and Grant Delpit.
Orgeron likely edged out Georgia head coach Kirby Smart and Florida head coach Dan Mullen for the award, but Coach O most definitely deserved it.
First given out in 1935, the SEC Coach of the Year award is given out every year to the most deserving head coach in the Southeastern Conference. League coaches have voted every year since 1935, while the Associated Press has made selections since 1946.
Below is a list of the last 10 winners of the award:
2018: Mark Stoops, Kentucky
Stoops in 2018 took the Kentucky Wildcats to new heights. He defeated Penn State in the Citrus Bowl and locked in UK’s first 10-win season since 1977. Stoops was the first SEC Coach of the Year from Kentucky in more than 30 years.
2017: Kirby Smart, Georgia
Smart led the Bulldogs to their first SEC Championship win since 2005 in ’17. After taking down No. 2 Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl, UGA advanced to the College Football Playoff Championship against Alabama, which they lost in overtime.
2016: Nick Saban, Alabama
Saban won the award for the fourth time in 2016 after the Crimson Tide went undefeated all the way up until the CFP Championship, which they fell short against the Clemson Tigers.
2015: Jim McElwain, Florida
Before McElwain was run out of town in Gainesville, he guided the Gators to back-to-back SEC Championship games in ’15 and ’16. Florida finished 10-4 in Mac’s first season and took home coach of the year honors.
2014: Gary Pinkel, Missouri
Pinkel and the Tigers won the SEC East crown and took a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship game for a second year in a row in 2014. Mizzou finished 10-3 and 7-1 in SEC play.
2013: Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Auburn may have lost the BCS National Championship game against Florida State in 2013, but not before Nick Marshall and the Tigers defeated Missouri in the SEC Championship game. Malzahn was the first Aubun coach to win the award since Tommy Tuberville in 2004.
2012: Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Despite not playing for an SEC title, Sumlin and Johnn Manziel’s Aggies defeated Alabama in the regular season and finished 11-2 following a win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
2011: Les Miles, LSU
Orgeron took over for Miles once things at LSU began to go downhill. But in 2011, Miles took the Tigers to the BCS National Championship game against Alabama. They got smacked, 21-0, but the coach still won the award.
2010: Steve Spurrier, South Carolina
Spurrier is both Florida’s and South Carolina’s all-time winningest coach, so it’s only fitting he’s won the award at both schools. In 2010, lost to Auburn in the SEC Championship game but finished 9-5 after going 7-6 the previous year.
2009: Nick Saban, Alabama
This year marked Saban’s first title at Alabama. The Crimson Tide crushed Texas in the BCS National Championship game, 37-21, and Saban went home with coach of the year honors.