Ed Orgeron was receiving so many messages after getting the LSU coaching job on a permanent basis Saturday that he had to leave his phone in his truck during his introductory news conference.
It’s a good thing he did.
Orgeron heard from far and wide after being named the Tigers’ 33rd head coach, receiving congratulatory messages from, among others, Gov. John Bel Edwards and the man Orgeron replaced Sept. 25, Les Miles.
Miles, who was relieved of his duties after a 2-2 start to his 12th season with the Tigers, texted a message to The Advocate after Orgeron was elevated Saturday morning by athletic director Joe Alleva.
“I’m pleased the administration hired within our team,” Miles wrote. “I'm happy for our players and the entire LSU community! Congratulations Ed Orgeron!!”
Miles hired Orgeron in January 2015 to be his defensive line coach and made him recruiting coordinator earlier this year after Frank Wilson left to become head coach at Texas-San Antonio.
Orgeron went 5-2 after taking over for Miles, capping what amounted to an eight-week audition for the job with a 54-39 blasting of Texas A&M on Thanksgiving night in College Station, Texas.
Edwards, who attended the Bayou Classic in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Saturday, released a statement on the hiring of Orgeron to guide the football team of the state’s flagship university.
“A Louisiana native from Lafourche Parish, Coach Orgeron was born to coach at LSU,” Edwards said in the statement. “His passion for this state and this university was on display in every game that he coached, and I know that he has the support of this team as he takes on this permanent role. I look forward to great things as we begin a new chapter in LSU’s history. Donna and I congratulate him, his wife, Kelly, and their entire family as they begin this new journey. Geaux Tigers!”
The messages came from many of the stops Orgeron, 55, has made during a 30-year coaching career.
Former Miami coach Jimmy Johnson, who hired Orgeron to be his defensive line coach in 1988, tweeted his congratulations, saying he is “a good man” who will be good for LSU. The Hurricanes won two national titles during Orgeron’s five-year stay at the school.
Former Southern California and New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush also tweeted about his association with Orgeron, who was on the Trojans’ staff when Bush starred at the school from 2003-05. Bush also was a member of the Saints in 2008 when Orgeron was their defensive line coach.
Bush, who is now with the Buffalo Bills, tweeted: “LSU just got better #respect and congrats to Ed Orgeron on the new job. One of my favorite coaches of all time!”
LSU men's basketball coach Johnny Jones, a Louisiana native who Saturday was on his way back with his team from a tournament in The Bahamas, was also among those congratulating Orgeron on getting the job in his home state.
“Obviously, I’m really excited for coach Orgeron and his family,” Jones said. “He’s a guy who bleeds purple and gold and is very passionate about LSU and the state of Louisiana. I think he’ll do a phenomenal job. … He always has 10 toes in.”
LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri expressed similar sentiments.
“You can’t help but love Ed. … His enthusiasm and passion for Louisiana and LSU is off the charts,” he said. “You have to believe that will be contagious for his staff and his team. Hopefully it translates into a lot of success and wins next fall.”
The Advocate's Elizabeth Crisp and Ross Dellenger contributed to this report.
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