Legendary assistant coach Pete Jenkins will be retiring from the LSU football program, per a press release from the athletic department this evening:
“We are forever grateful for Coach Jenkins and his 15 years of service to LSU,” Orgeron said. “Coach Jenkins is one of the most respected coaches in football when it comes to defensive play.
“The LSU football program benefitted and improved because of Coach Jenkins. Our defensive line played at an extremely high level throughout the 2017 season due to the teaching, technique and expectations he instilled on his players.”
Jenkins, who joined the Tigers in September of 2016 when Orgeron took over the program, is in his third stint with LSU. He first joined the Tigers in 1980 and remained with the program for 11 years, serving as defensive line coach and taking on defensive coordinator duties in 1982 and then again from 1987-90.
“Outside of my family, the greatest thing that has happened to Pete Jenkins is LSU football,” Jenkins said. “It was my dream to be able to coach at LSU and I’ve been fortunate enough to do it on three different occasions.”
Jenkins is a legend in the coaching community — virtually every defensive line coach in the country has learned from him, if not by proxy. Still, at 76 years old, this has long been the plan here. Jenkins just can’t handle the grind of coaching at this level, with recruiting, etc... He came back to LSU as a favor to Ed Orgeron when he took over as the interim head coach, and once that became full-time, planned to coach this season and retire.
For now, outside linebackers coach Dennis “Meatball” Johnson will, along with Orgeron, coach defensive line through the bowl game. That may become a full-time gig eventually — Johnson is a former defensive tackle himself, and in coaching 3-4 outside ‘backers, was basically already working with linemen. He’s also shown himself to be a very valuable recruiter as well.
So this means LSU will likely be adding another defensive assistant coach somewhere, likely a linebackers coach to assist Dave Aranda or another defensive line coach/recruiter.
As for other coaching positions, it is still believed that Greg McMahon will be brought on as a full-time special teams coach once the 10th staff position becomes official later this offseason.
Additionally, I do expect Matt Canada to seriously pursue head coaching positions, given that...well...there are a lot of them coming open. Should this happen quickly, Steve Ensminger will definitely call plays for LSU in the bowl game. Beyond that, we’ll see what happens. In the past, Ensminger has balked at being a full-time OC, but money talks, and I’m told Orgeron does have a lot of faith in Ensminger. Of course, that is contingent on Canada leaving.
We’ll stay on top of things as they develop.