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Ed Orgeron says his experience at USC will help him as interim coach at LSU

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(Hilary Scheinuk / Associated Press )

Ed Orgeron suddenly finds himself in a familiar position — interim head coach for a big-time college football program.

In 2013, that program was USC; now it’s LSU, following the firing of longtime coach Les Miles over the weekend.

“It’s a great situation, very similar” to USC, Orgeron said Monday during his first news conference in his new role after being promoted from defensive line coach.

Good to hear that Orgeron is happy with his situation, and even better that he views his Trojans interim-coaching experience in 2013 as a positive one.

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Especially after the way it ended — with Orgeron in tears over not getting the permanent head coaching job at USC. He was upset that he turned down the opportunity to coach the Trojans in the Las Vegas Bowl as well as a job offer to become new coach Steve Sarkisian’s top assistant.

“My heart and soul were so empty, it was like being a father who is told you can’t have your children anymore,” Orgeron told Times columnist Bill Plaschke some 11 months later.

Still, Orgeron led the Trojans to a 6-2 record and won the hearts of his players and fans, something he hadn’t been able to do as head coach at Mississippi from 2005 to 2007.

But after a year off at home in Mandeville, La., Orgeron took the job as defensive line coach at LSU. And now he’s an interim head coach again, and is said to have a shot at the permanent job.

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“I am glad I have had experience of being interim coach. Every time you go through a head coaching job .. you find out what [kind of] coach you are,” Orgeron said Monday.

At Ole Miss, he said, “I went full speed ahead, wanted to do everything, coach QB and WR. I learned from it. When I went to USC, I delegated authority ... and played to my strengths, and I got my team to play the way my DL played. I gave them freedom to play the way they wanted to play and we won football games.”

charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii


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