A former face is returning to Baton Rouge. Former Nebraska coach Bo Pelini is set to become the new defensive coordinator at LSU, according to a release from LSU. Youngstown State also released a statement that Pelini had resigned his post as coach -- a role served in for five years. The hiring fills in a huge vacancy for coach Ed Orgeron's staff after Dave Aranda left to take the head coaching job at Baylor after spending four years with the program.
"The opportunity to return to LSU is truly unique," Pelini said. "Culturally, with my prior experience at LSU, I know it is a great fit for me. The chance to work with Coach (Ed) Orgeron, the ability to take charge of the Tigers defense. All of that in a place that both my family and I immensely enjoyed when we were there before is very exciting for us. We are very honored and looking forward to this next chapter."
Sports Illustrated reports that Pelini will receive a three-year deal that will pay him around $2.3 million per season. Pelini's hire is pending approval from the Board of Supervisors, according to LSU.
Pelini's defenses finished in the top 20 nationally in total defense in each of his three seasons with the Tigers, including in 2007 when they won the BCS National Championship over Ohio State. That successful stint in Baton Rouge earned him the head coaching gig at Nebraska where he won nine or more games in each of his seven seasons. Despite that, he was let go following the 2014 season.
He took over at Youngstown State and led the Penguins to a 12-4 record in his second season in 2016. They lost to James Madison 28-14 in the FCS National Championship Game. He has gone 33-28 in five seasons, including a 6-6 record in 2019.
"The past five years have been terrific," Pelini said. "I can't thank [Youngstown State] President Jim Tressel and [athletic director] Ron Strollo enough for the opportunity here and support along the way. For all of the people, honestly too many to name, who were part of my YSU experience, I also want to extend a heartfelt thank you."
Pelini is 100-55 as a head coach in his stints at Nebraska and Youngstown State.