Saturday, October 1, 2016

LSU's coach Ed Orgeron: From bar fights to bass drums, the larger-than-life tale of a changed man

The stories of “Bébé” are big, like the gravel-voiced Cajun himself.
They’re bigger than life.

“Outside perception is, ‘That guy can’t be real,’ ” said Doug Ireland, the longtime sports information director at Northwestern State and the chairman of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. "But he is very real.”

The stories of LSU interim football coach Ed Orgeron are real, too — even tales from decades ago that he’d like to forget, the ones that taught him hard lessons and got him to good places.

Did you know about his morning marches through the hallways of the Ole Miss football offices?

Orgeron banged against a massive bass drum that was strapped to his wide chest at 7 a.m., at least three cans of Red Bull flowing through his system as he filled his assistant coaches’ offices with ear-piercing booms.

Are you aware of his long-past drinking issues? One summer night in 1992, Orgeron head-butted the manager of a bar in Baton Rouge and was arrested. The charges were dropped, but the incident, and perhaps others, resulted in his resignation as defensive line coach at Miami.

How about when he was a junior at Northwestern State in 1982? Orgeron arrived for his first meeting with his new defensive coordinator in a dirtied, torn, white T-shirt, ripped-up jeans — not the fashionable kind — and no shoes.

Or this one? In his first meeting with the Ole Miss football team, he tore off his shirt. Bare-chested, he then challenged Rebels players to a wrestling match.

Thomas Williams · Living life again without Les Miles, hallelujah!!!

The first LSU College Football game without the mental case Les Miles, and the health of that feeling in this moment feels like the normality that we were hoping for.


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