SHREVEPORT — The LSU Board of Supervisors approved the contracts Friday of new LSU defensive coordinator Kevin Steele and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron.
Steele, hired to replace John Chavis earlier this month, has a two-year contract for $1 million a year. Orgeron, who replaced the reassigned Brick Haley, has a two-year deal for $450,000 a year.
There was little discussion about the hires during the Athletics Committee meeting and no discussion by the full board upon approval. Members noted that the money is self-generated from athletics and won’t come from taxpayer dollars.
Associate Athletic Director Eddie Nunez told the board that the two new coaches bring a new energy to the coaching staff.
“We feel confident that we’ve done everything we can to put the right two in place here,” he told the board.
Blake Chatelain, chairman of the LSU Board of Supervisors Athletics Committee, said he thinks LSU is building a strong program with the two new hires.
“We probably have the best recruiting staff in the country,” he said.
The board also approved new contracts for four assistant coaches: recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Frank Wilson (three years, $660,000); receivers coach Adam Henry (two years, $375,000); defensive backs coach Corey Raymond (two years, $310,000); and tight ends coach Steve Ensminger (two years, $300,000).
Wilson and Raymond received $10,000 raises, while Henry received a $55,000 raise.
Steele’s and Orgeron’s contracts include buyouts and a clause stipulating that, if Les Miles is no longer head coach, the deal will end six months after that point. The assistants’ new contracts are expected to include buyouts and the Miles clause, but they have not been made available.
Steele’s salary is $300,000 less than what Chavis made. That drops LSU’s combined staff pay to $5.107 million. LSU paid its staff $5.499 million last year, the most in the nation. That figure, though, includes additional revenue. Alabama was second nationally in staff pay last year at $5.213 million, according to USA Today.
Another difference in Steele’s contract: He’s the only coordinator not to be given a three-year contract in several years. Cameron is in the last year of a three-year deal, and Wilson is the only coach who received a three-year contract this month.
Seven of LSU’s nine assistant coaches have contracts that end in March 2017. Wilson has a deal expiring in March 2018. Cameron has a contract ending in March 2016.