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Louisiana State will stick with Ed Orgeron; Texas hires Tom Herman

Louisiana State will stick with Ed Orgeron; Texas hires Tom Herman
Coach Ed Orgeron yells instructions to LSU players during their 42-7 victory over Missouri on Oct. 1. (Max Becherer / Associated Press)

LSU is sticking with Ed Orgeron, giving the interim football coach his dream job on a permanent basis.

The announcement by Athletic Director Joe Alleva on Saturday comes two days after the No. 25 Tigers defeated No. 22 Texas A&M, 54-39. Following Thursday night's game, chants of "Keep coach O" could be heard from LSU's locker room.

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Alleva said LSU knows Orgeron's heart is with LSU and "his strengths are going to be tremendous" at the school.

Tom Herman now gets his chance for a Texas takeover. Herman, who coached Houston to national prominence the last two seasons, was announced as the new Texas coach Saturday, replacing Charlie Strong, who was fired in the morning after three consecutive losing seasons.

"Longhorn football has been - and always will be - a national power, winning and playing for national championships with great pride and passion, supported by an unbelievable fan base," Herman said in statement released by Texas.

Contract details were not immediately released, and must still be approved by Texas' Board of Regents. Texas still owes Strong nearly $11 million on his original five-year guaranteed contract.

Orgeron has gone 5-2 since taking over for Les Miles, who was fired in late September after LSU started 2-2. LSU's two losses since Orgeron was promoted came against No. 1 Alabama and 13 Florida, the Southeastern Conference East Division champion.

It was the second winning interim stint at a major program for Orgeron, a 55-year-old Louisianan who went 6-2 at USC after Lane Kiffin was fired in 2013.

Now Orgeron has his second full-time head coaching job at the Division I, FBS level. The first also was in the SEC — at Mississippi from 2005 to 2007. But he never had a winning season with the Rebels, going 10-25.

"My plan is to take my time and assemble the best staff in America," Orgeron said, adding that defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has committed to remaining at LSU.

On the other side of the ball, Orgeron said he expects to lure an elite offensive coordinator who will be adept at running a spread offense, which he sees as a requirement in the modern college game. He declined to mention candidates, even when specifically asked about Kiffin, an old friend who is currently the offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Oregeron has gone 11-4 in two interim posts combined and now that he has the LSU job on a permanent basis he will prepare the Tigers for a bowl game that has yet to be determined.

Orgeron's popularity among fans was instant and evident from his first walk into Tiger Stadium after he'd received the interim job. He's been a household name in his home state for decades, and his grass-roots support was hardly unexpected.

"We're proud to be a part of Louisiana and we understand LSU, what it means," Orgeron said. "This is a great day in my life, obviously, but it's not about me."

Texas acted quickly to snag Herman, who has only two years' experience as a head coach but is 22-4 with the Cougars, with a 9-3 mark this season after Friday's loss to Memphis . Herman's name had emerged as a top target for Texas officials as Strong's final season started 2-0 but faded to a 5-7 finish.

Herman was offensive coordinator at Ohio State when the Buckeyes won the 2014 season national championship. He spent a season at Texas as a graduate assistant early in his career under former Longhorns coach Mack Brown.

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Herman's record at Houston and big wins over top programs such as Florida State and Oklahoma had pushed the Cougars into early-season College Football Playoff contenders as well as candidates for a move to the Big 12. Neither scenario happened, however, as the Cougars dropped midseason games against Navy and SMU and the Big 12 chose not to expand .

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