Ed Orgeron leaving New Orleans Saints for Tennessee Volunteers

Posted by James Varney and Mike Triplett, The Times-Picayune December 31, 2008 5:23PM

ATLANTA – Saints defensive line coach Ed Orgeron will not be a part of the LSU coaching staff next season, school officials confirmed, and is instead expected to sign a deal with Tennessee.

Saints spokesman Greg Bensel confirmed Wednesday that Orgeron has been released from his contract and is leaving for Tennessee.

The news broke shortly before LSU (7-5) was slated to play No. 14 Georgia Tech (9-3) in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The LSU community in Atlanta for the game was abuzz Tuesday night with speculation Orgeron would join head coach Les Miles and form a powerful recruiting tandem.
LSU athletic officials tried to dampen enthusiasm over the Orgeron reports on Tuesday night. The school cautioned the news was premature and said no arrangement had been finalized. Still, it was clear LSU was hoping Oregron, who briefly attended LSU and is a Louisiana native, would wind up in Baton Rouge.

Instead, it appears Orgeron will join forces with new Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin. Those two were assistants together at Southern California before Orgeron became head coach at Ole Miss.

The deciding factor appears to have been money. Although LSU made it clear this week it intended to be competitive and some officials hinted a contract in the neighborhood of $500,000 could be seen rumors were rife in the Georgia Dome that Tennessee had offered Orgeron something close to $900,000.

That number could not be confirmed Wednesday evening and there was no official announcement by Tennessee. The Volunteers instead touted the hiring of Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator. The father of Lane, Monte Kiffin had a distinguished NFL career and heads to Knoxville from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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