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Steve Ensminger, Bill Johnson to Retire from On Field Coaching

Both coaches to transition to analyst roles

College Football Playoff National Championship - Media Day Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The LSU football team is in search of a new offensive coordinator and defensive line coach.

Steve Ensminger and Bill Johnson both announced their retirements from on the field coaching and will now transition to analyst roles with the program.

Emsminger has been on the LSU coaching staff for 11 years, spending the last three as the offensive coordinator.

“Steve gave everything he had to LSU and I will always cherish the time we spent coaching together,” Ed Orgeron said. “Steve treated everyone on the staff and the players on our team like family. He bleeds purple and gold – I don’t know of a better LSU man. From a coaching standpoint, he’s the best. From game-planning to play-calling, Steve was outstanding. He developed our players on the field and he helped mold them into young men off the field. I can’t thank Steve enough for his loyalty and his willingness to do whatever was asked of him.”

Ensminger was made interim offensive coordinator by Ed Orgeron when Les Miles and Cam Cameron were fired midway through the 2016 season. Matt Canada took over as offensive coordinator in 2017 before leaving at the conclusion of the season, and Ensminger assumed the position from 2018 till now.

Under Ensminger, LSU averaged 37 points and 474 yards a game. Ensminger’s greatest achievement, of course, was calling the plays for the historic 2019 LSU offense. The 2019 Tigers became the first team in NCAA history to have a 5,000 yard passer (Joe Burrow), a 1,000 yard rusher (Clyde Edwards-Helaire) and two 1,000 yard receivers (Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson).

Johnson spent 18 seasons in the NFL, with the Falcons, Broncos, Saints and Rams. He spent eight years in New Orleans and was the defensive line coach for the Saints 2009 Super Bowl season. He also coached Los Angeles’ Aaron Donald when Donald won two NFL Defensive Player of the Year Awards. Donald also set a record for sacks by a defensive tackle with 20.5 in 2018.

Johnson was on LSU’s staff for two years and helped coach Rashard Lawrence and Ali Gaye to All-SEC accolades.

“Bill is an outstanding football coach and a tremendous man,” Orgeron said. “I have great respect for Bill and the job he did teaching and developing our players. He stepped in and made an immediate impact with our defensive linemen two years ago and I will always appreciate his dedication to the LSU Tigers.”

For LSU, it is yet another coaching change to occur within the past two days. On Monday it was reported that defensive coordinator Bo Pelini, safeties coach Bill Busch and passing game coordinator Scott Linehan would all not be returning to the 2021 coaching staff.