Another spin of the SEC coaching carousel

Something else that may have flown under the radar in the last 24-48 hours of bowl play are the musical chairs being played in the wake of Gus Malzahn’s hire of LSU’s Kevin Steele.

First, as expected, Lance Thompson flew the coop… er, flew to the coop… eh, left Auburn to join Boom in Columbia.

Thompson’s hiring leaves Muschamp with just one position to fill. Muschamp already has named Bryan McClendon offensive co-coordintor and wide receivers coach, Pat Washington tight ends coach, Shawn Elliott offensive line coach, Bobby Bentley running backs coach, Travaris Robinson defensive co-coordinator and defensive backs coach, Coleman Hutzler linebackers coach and special teams coordinator.

Kurt Roper will be announced as the Gamecocks offensive co-coordinator and quarterbacks coach as soon as his season’s complete with the Cleveland Browns following Sunday.

I’ll say this for Muschamp.  It remains to be see how well he does in his second run as an SEC head coach, but with Thompson, McClendon and Robinson, he’s clearly upgraded South Carolina’s recruiting prowess from Spurrier’s staff.  And considering how much the ‘Cocks like to dip into Georgia for talent, that’s not going to make Kirby Smart’s job any easier.

Meanwhile, Gus now has to replace three of his best recruiters, all on the defensive side of the staff, and while Steele is good at it, he’s not any better than Boom.  It’s not a place you want to be at while fending off hot seat rumors.

Speaking of which, were I rooting for LSU, I’d be pretty damned happy with the news of Steele’s replacement.

The SEC had a couple big wins on New Year’s Day, but LSU might have just notched the biggest one of all by reeling in Wisconsin’s Dave Aranda to run the Tigers defense.

Aranda’s new deal with LSU will make him one of the highest-paid defensive coordinators in the country, a source told FOX Sports.

During Aranda’s three seasons as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator, the Badgers rank No. 1 nationally in total defense, No. 2 in scoring defense, No. 3 in pass defense and No. 4 in run defense.

Once again, Barry Alvarez being a cheap AD pays off for an SEC program in need.

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UPDATE:  Chris Brown has some good stuff on Aranda, if you’re interested.

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22 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

22 responses to “Another spin of the SEC coaching carousel

  1. STATESBURR D

    I wonder as McClendon at the end of the day feels about leaving his home…bleeding Red/Black.. picks up the flag of the enemy. I also wonder how Thomas Brown can say..”It’s all about the U” days after saying he was staying….geeesssh.

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  2. WarD Eagle

    Lots of AU fans disappointed in not going after Aranda in the first place. Steele is a good recruiter, a meh DC

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  3. STATESBURR D

    We really can only speculate he was “let” go…we have no inner knowledge. Maybe with new OC he didn’t want to stay…Why not follow Richt to Miami….I am not throwing stones at McClendon..just wonder how “fired” up he will be at coaching/recruiting against his alma mater..etc…

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    • dawgtired

      It’s a job. At the end of the day, these guys are fans of providing for their family and future. Part of their job is recruiting, which means they have to say all the right ‘love’ things for the school they coach…and I’m sure at the moment, they love the school that supports them and their family.

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      • STATESBURR D

        Good Point. Ok..it’s a job…I can’t argue taking care of family and your future. I think my point is….How can you truly…deep down…believe in your message to recruits that USC or Miami is the best place to attend…not UGA.

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        • Because it’s where you’re working and you believe in yourself and your fellow staff members.

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          • STATESBURR D

            Different views…I enjoy your site…always read it but this is my first time replying. Thank you for the time and Go Dawgs today….

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        • ugafidelis

          He doesn’t have to run down one school to boost up another.

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          • STATESBURR D

            Didn’t say he would “run down” a school..it’s that fire in the belly for your home team..family….I guess kinda like the marines and navy

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        • lakedawg

          Kirby had no problem telling recruits all kind of bad things about UGA and now he coaches there.

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        • Bazooka Joe

          Because life, providing for yourself and family is much more important than where you went to school and played ball. If UGA wanted to show similar loyalty they could have kept him. They didn’t, so he has no reason to think of UGA as anything but another competitor.
          And with kids sometimes its not a hard sell, Miami is a pretty cool place for younger crowd, USC/Los Angeles area the same (I know you meant south Carolina, but south Carolina is not USC, nor is it “Carolina” – I couldn’t resist getting in a little dig on the chickens).
          I know I am showing my age – but I understand where you are coming from with loyalty, etc…. but the reality is there is no loyalty in todays society, period. Just look at corporate America as a poster child example – used to be if you worked hard you could spend your entire career with one company, now you get axed at the drop of a hat like you are nothing but a number just to try to improve short term stock price.
          To me its a no-brainer

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    • As for why he didn’t follow Richt, I have no inside info, but reading between the lines I believe it boiled down to geography. BMac said on multiple occasions that he was going to make the best decision “for his family”. And I kinda took that to mean beyond just his wife and kids. Columbia is a whole lot closer to to any grandparents/aunts/uncles etc than Miami is. I don’t know where his wife and her family are from, but if they’re all in GA as well, I can see how a wife would prefer to be closer to her family when you have a coach for a husband. Those guys are always traveling, working late hours, etc.

      Again, just speculation on my part, but I can’t imagine choosing to work for Boom over Richt strictly on the merits of the two men.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      Probably as fired up as Erk Russell was coaching/recruiting against Auburn.

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    • RugbyDawg79

      He said he was doing what was best for his family–that is something that motivates a good man. He will always be a DGD

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  4. Is Kirby waiting for Slayer Bowl or CFP NC before announcing his DC? We’ll know soon enough.

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  5. I must admit, my immediate thought when I heard the Aranda announcement was, “dang, I wish UGA had taken a shot at him”. I am firmly in the camp of those who wanted Pruitt to stay. But with him gone, I’d like to see UGA get a DC with some star power and stats.

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    • South FL Dawg

      The linked article had him coaching a 4-3 defense and no 3-4

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      • Good point. Lots of good DCs getting snatched up. I sure hope CKS has someone good locked down. The idea of swapping coaches with Bama just seems odd and a step back, particularly if the Mel Tucker rumor has any merit. Speaking of the 4-3, I see Miami hired Diaz.

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