According to multiple reports, Orgeron and LSU have reached a “separation agreement” that will terminate the head coach’s employment prior to the 2022 campaign. He will finish out this year with the Tigers, after getting off to a 4-3 start.
The move means the Orgeron era will end just two seasons after he led LSU to a national championship and a perfect 15-0 season. That team featured a stacked roster with many future NFL players, including quarterback Joe Burrow.
The 2020 No. 1 overall pick, who now plays in Cincinnati, heard the news that Orgeron’s time as the Tigers head coach was over after the Bengals win on Sunday. Unsurprisingly, he was disappointed by the decision, explaining that he still feels “indebted” to Coach O for giving him a chance to start at quarterback at the Power Five level.
“It’s disappointing to me because he’s really a man that gave me an opportunity that nobody else really would,” Burrow said, via ESPN’s Bengals reporter Ben Baby.
Joe Burrow on Ed Orgeron not returning to LSU in ’22. Burrow: It’s disappointing to me because he’s really a man that gave me an opportunity that nobody else really would. Burrow said he’s “indebted” to Coach O.
— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) October 17, 2021
Burrow’s 2019 college season was nothing short of tremendous. He won the Heisman Trophy and captained LSU to the national championship victory with ease, just two years after leaving Ohio State. His performance catapulted him to the top of the following year’s draft class.
As for Orgeron, he helped revitalize the LSU program, at least temporarily. He took over as LSU’s interim coach in 2016 and finished the year 6-2. He then led the Tigers to 9-4 and 10-3 seasons before catching lightning in a bottle with his 2019 team.
However, since that national championship, LSU has headed in the wrong direction. Orgeron went 5-5 in 2020 before starting 4-3 this season. The news of his planned departure came just a day after the Tigers upset Florida at home in Baton Rouge.
With Orgeron on his way out, a major college coaching vacancy just opened up. Time will tell who LSU chooses to lead the program moving forward.