LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady has been named one of five finalists for the Broyles Award for college football's top assistant coach, the Frank Broyles Foundation announced Monday.
The 30-year-old Brady has revamped LSU's offense in tandem with offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger, and the No. 2 Tigers (12-0, 8-0 Southeastern Conference) have completed its first undefeated regular season since 2011 and will play No. 4 Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday in Atlanta.
Former defensive coordinator John Chavis won the Broyles Award in 2011, and he remains the only LSU assistant to win the award in school history.
Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda was a semifinalist in 2018.
The five finalists will be invited to Little Rock, Arkansas, where the winner will be announced on Dec. 10.
LSU's offensive success has helped propel the Tigers toward possibly their first berth in the College Football Playoff since its 2014 inception.
LSU coach Ed Orgeron called Brady "a game-changer" when formally announcing the hire in February, and he hired Brady to retool LSU's offense in tandem with Ensminger, using the West Coast and run-pass-option schemes he learned while an assistant with the New Orleans Saints and Penn State.
The results have been substantial.
LSU ranks second nationally, scoring 48.7 points per game — more than two touchdowns more than what the Tigers averaged in 2018 (32.4).
LSU ranks second nationally in total offense (560.4 yards per game) and second in yards per play (7.9), and quarterback Joe Burrow is a front-runner to win the program's first Heisman Trophy since Billy Cannon in 1959.
The 6-foot-4, 216-pound Burrow is on pace to break every single-season passing record in school history.
Orgeron has expressed that he wants to retain Brady beyond his existing contract.
LSU and Brady are working on details for a new contract, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Orgeron said Sunday "we're going to do everything we can to fight for the guys that we want to stay."
"Now, if a guy has a head job that's something that we can't match, that's something he really wants, we have to let him go," Orgeron said on the SEC Championship coaches teleconference. "But for Joe, we're going to fight to keep him here as much as we can. We've had some preliminary conversations with him, and everything seems positive right now."
Reports have linked schools with interest in Brady, including a report from Anwar Richardson, a reporter for OrangeBloods.com, that Brady is one of two candidates to replace Texas offensive coordinator Tim Beck.
Asked where LSU stands in those pursuits, Orgeron said Monday: "We're a step ahead."
Brady signed a three-year contract Feb. 3 with LSU. The deal pays him $410,000 per year in his first year, $435,000 in his second and $460,000 in his final season until the contract expires March 31, 2022.
Any new contract would need approval from the LSU Board of Supervisors, which next meets Dec. 6.
Brady is the seventh-highest-paid assistant on Orgeron's staff, which includes 10 coaches. Brady's current annual salary ranks outside the top 200 assistants nationally, according to USA Today's collected data of 2018 salaries.
Aranda's $2.5 million per year ranks first nationally among assistant coaches, and in May, Ensminger signed a two-year, $800,000-per-year contract with LSU that expires March 31, 2021.
2019 Broyles Award finalists
BAYLOR – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties
GEORGIA – Dan Lanning, Defensive Coordinator/Outside LBs
LSU – Joe Brady, Passing Game Coordinator/WR
OHIO STATE – Jeff Hafley, Co-Defensive Coordinator/Secondary
UTAH – Morgan Scalley, Defensive Coordinator/Safeties