Tony Ball is ready to give crawfish another try.
Ball, the receivers coach at Georgia for the last six years, will be LSU’s new receivers coach. He accepted the job Friday morning and will begin work in Baton Rouge on Thursday, Ball said.
LSU confirmed the hire in a release Friday afternoon.
“I enjoy trying different foods. Never been a big crawfish-eating guy. That’s going to probably be something I experiment with,” he said.
Ball, 55, just finished his ninth season at Georgia, the last six as receivers coach. He’s had stops at Virginia Tech and Louisville during a 30-year coaching career he never even wanted.
Ball is a police academy graduate whose professional career started as an officer for the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C.
“I wanted to be a Secret Service man ... the FBI,” he said Friday.
Three decades later, he might be one of the highest paid receivers coach in the nation.
Ball will replace Adam Henry, who left LSU after three seasons for the San Francisco 49ers. Maryland receivers coach Keenan McCardell also interviewed for the position.
Ball made $260,000 a year at Georgia and is expected to receive a raise, but he said “money was not the issue.” Henry had recently signed a new two year contract and was set to make $375,000 this season.
Ball left Georgia because “the timing was right,” he said. Ball’s two children recently graduated college.
“The timing was right for me and my family,” he said. “(Les Miles) is someone I’ve always just admired. He seems to enjoy the game. His players seem to enjoy playing for him. Those are the kind of things that, as coaches, fire you up.”
There’s another thing, too: talent.
LSU currently has on its roster receivers Malachi Dupre, Trey Quinn and Tyron Johnson, three of the nation’s top 10 receivers in their respective signing classes. That excludes speedster Travin Dural, who led the team in receiving last year.
“You just look at the history of LSU. They’ve always had talented athletic kids at wide receiver and the secondary,” Ball said. “I’m excited about that group. I’ll spend the next couple of weeks learning more about them. We’re not going be short on talent.”
A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Ball was a running back at UT-Chattanooga and coached running backs in his first three years in Athens. Ball coached receivers for eight years at Virginia Tech and for three years at Louisville.
Despite his playing background as a running back, Ball said he gravitated to coaching receivers when he got into coaching.
LSU has been searching for a new coach since Sunday. Ball is the third new coach on staff. The Tigers hired former Alabama assistant Kevin Steele to be their defensive coordinator after John Chavis left. They hired defensive line coach Ed Orgeron to replace the reassigned Brick Haley, who recently accepted a job at Texas.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.