Winning a national championship and leading LSU to arguably the most impressive season in college football history have earned coach Ed Orgeron a significant raise.
Orgeron agreed to terms on a new deal that will pay him roughly $7 million per year over the next six years, an LSU official confirmed Friday morning.
The six-year agreement has a base salary of $6 million, keeps Orgeron in Baton Rouge until at least 2026 and includes a $5 million split-dollar life insurance policy in the first two years of the deal. Before bonuses, the contract is worth more than $42 million.
The contract requires approval of the LSU Board of Supervisors, which next meets March 6.
"Coach O has set a new standard at LSU," athletic director Scott Woodward said in a news release. "He has proven that he is not only a championship coach, but also a leader of a program committed to doing things the right way. He has represented our institution and our state with great pride, on and off the field of play. He is well-deserving of this new contract, which should make clear our commitment to Coach O and the direction of our football program."
This is the second contract extension Orgeron has received in the past year. He signed a two-year extension in March that raised his salary to $4 million per year, a boost that still kept him as one of the Southeastern Conference's lower-paid coaches.
But that deal, negotiated under former LSU athletic director Joe Alleva, included a substantial increase in bonus incentives that essentially showed Orgeron was banking on himself and that the school was asking him to prove himself.
LSU football and head coach Ed Orgeron have agreed to a six-year extension, according to Bruce Feldman.
In 2019, Orgeron maxed out on incentives worth $1.7 million: $500,000 for reaching 12 regular-season victories, plus $1.2 million in postseason incentives that included winning the national championship.
He also received $75,000 after being named the consensus Coach of the Year, a long list that included ESPN Coach of the Year, Bear Bryant Coach of the Year and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year awards.
Orgeron accepted the Eddie Robinson award in New Orleans the weekend before LSU's 42-25 win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. He thanked his agent, who was in the room, and quipped: "Hopefully, he's going to be busy in a couple weeks."
Orgeron now has a 40-9 record at LSU since he assumed the interim head coaching job in 2016 when former coach Les Miles was fired, and his newest contract will place him within the top five highest-paid coaches in the NCAA, according to USA Today.
Alabama's Nick Saban leads the SEC with an $8,707,000 per year salary, which is second nationally only to Clemson's Dabo Swinney, who makes $9,255,000 annually.
"I'm very appreciative of Scott Woodward, the LSU Board of Supervisors and the state of Louisiana," Orgeron said in a news release. "I'm happy to represent LSU and this great state. My family and I are very grateful, and I look forward to working as hard as possible to continue to win championships at LSU."
Believe it, LSU fans! The Tigers are the 2020 College Football Playoff champions.
The 58-year-old coach has reached a high level of success with the football team he watched growing up; he briefly played for the Tigers in 1979 before playing defensive line for Northwestern State from 1980-83.
Orgeron's coaching career began in Natchitoches, where he was a graduate assistant at Northwestern State. He had small roles on the coaching staffs at McNeese State and Arkansas before landing his first major job as defensive line coach at Miami in 1988.
Before this season, Orgeron was a part of two national championship teams with Miami, and he was later the defensive line coach at Southern Cal when the Trojans were named the AP's national champion in 2003 (LSU won the BCS national championship game).
Then he began his head coaching career at Ole Miss. After going 3-21 in SEC play in three seasons, he was fired. The unsuccessful stint followed him into his time as interim head coach at USC in 2013, when he went 6-2 before being passed over for the full-time job.
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Orgeron joined LSU's staff as a defensive line coach with Miles in 2015, and he faced criticism when he was first hired full-time in 2016 by Alleva.
Now, Orgeron's 81.6% win percentage at LSU is the highest in school history among those who coached in more than seven games, leading Miles (114-34, 77.0%) and Saban (48-16, 75.0%).