LSU has landed its new defensive coordinator. The school announced Tuesday that it has hired Minnesota Vikings defensive backs coach Daronte Jones to lead the team's defensive unit in 2021.
Jones just completed his first season with the Vikings. He previously held similar positions with the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins in addition to college stops at Wisconsin, Hawaii and UCLA. His last defensive coordinator gig came from the Division II ranks at Bowie State from 2005-09.
"Daronte is a great addition to our staff," coach Ed Orgeron said. "We did a lot of research and talked to a lot of coaches including Dave (Aranda) and every person we spoke with raved about his knowledge and passion for the game. He's going to bring tremendous energy to our defense and he will put our players in position to make plays, no matter the situation or scheme. Daronte spent a year working with Dave (Aranda) at Wisconsin and he's learned from some of the best in the game during his five years in the NFL and I know that he's going to do a great job with our defense. I'm excited he's going to be an LSU Tiger."
Jones, who hails from Capital Heights, Maryland, played four seasons at Morgan State before his coaching career started in 2001.
"I want thank Coach Orgeron, athletic director Scott Woodard and the administration for this opportunity," Jones said. "I am blessed and thankful to be part of the LSU family, community, and the strong traditions of this program. Geaux Tigers."
LSU has been searching for a new defensive coordinator after Orgeron fired Bo Pelini in December as part of broader coaching staff changes. One year after winning the College Football Playoff National Championship, the Tigers finished 5-5 while allowing nearly 35 points per game -- tied for 10th in the SEC. LSU was particularly abysmal against the pass, allowing an SEC-worst 323 yards through the air per game.