To the victor comes the spoils, they say. And the spoils are all leaving town.
LSU was already set to lose a lot on the field, with eight early entrants plus seniors like Joe Burrow, Kristian Fulton and both guards on their Joe Moore Award-winning offensive line. And though losing passing game coordinator Joe Brady to the Panthers and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda to Baylor — damn you, Matt Rhule — wasn’t unexpected, it was still a blow.
But LSU is now losing third-level assistants, the type of guys only the most purple and gold of LSU fans knew but the guys who made the machine hum the way it did.
Jorge Munoz, an analyst and former Louisiana-Lafayette offensive coordinator widely speculated to slide into Brady’s role, left to join Aranda at Baylor. Offensive graduate assistant John Decoster took a job as the tight ends coach at Old Dominion. Defensive analyst Dennis Johnson, who would’ve coached LSU’s defensive line had he not injured both knees playing basketball in the offseason, also followed Aranda to Baylor.
And now longtime defensive analyst Ronnie Wheat is leaving to become the safeties coach at Nevada, according to multiple reports Tuesday.
Wheat had more than earned his promotion, spending the past seven seasons on LSU’s support staff while working under coordinators John Chavis, Kevin Steele and Aranda. According to Geaux247, who broke the story, Wheat was instrumental in developing linebackers such as Devin White and Kendell Beckwith, and helped reel in a pair of 4-star linebackers in LSU’s 2020 recruiting class.
To be clear, change is the nature of college football. The roster turns over completely every five years, and losing assistants to bigger and better jobs is the price of victory. On a personal level, you want to lose your guys to bigger jobs, because it makes the jobs you have all the more attractive. Alabama’s staff has almost completely turned over from its 2017 national championship, to say nothing of the now-ancient 2009 title, and yet Nick Saban keeps the Crimson Tide humming.
Now it’s Ed Orgeron‘s turn.