Dave Aranda put his name on the national radar over the last three years at the University of Wisconsin. That reputation meant Aranda was going to be a name most schools would be interested in across the country.
With all the shuffling going on on coaching staffs across college football, Aranda would be a name of interest. It didnâ€™t take long for Aranda to be linked with jobs at USC, LSU and plenty of other national title contenders.
Once the Badgersâ€™ 2015 season was wrapped up, it didnâ€™t take long for Aranda to take on a new job either. According to a report from the Associated Press, Aranda has been announced as the new defensive coordinator at LSU.
Aranda built a strong reputation at UW, fielding three straight defenses ranked in the top 10 nationally. During Arandaâ€™s three seasons, the Badgers rank first in FBS in total defense, third in passing defense, and fourth in rushing defense.
Wisconsinâ€™s defense transitioned from the 4-3 it has always played to the 3-4 scheme Aranda runs and it paid immediate dividends. Since his first season, Wisconsin has allowed opponents to average just over 16 points per game, trailing only Alabama in scoring defense during that three-year span.
So, why the move to the Tigers if everything is successful in Madison? Money could be a factor.
Wisconsin had been paying Aranda $520,000 for the 2015 season, while the man he replaced at LSU, Kevin Steele, made $800,000.
However, athletic director Barry Alvarez believes money isnâ€™t the factor everyone else thinks it would be or was in this case. He spoke to Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel before the Holiday Bowl.
“Daveâ€™s compensation is fair,” Alvarez said, noting he has given head coach Paul Chryst more money to pay the assistants in 2016. “I think people need to (understand) that you donâ€™t leave jobs just because somebody is going to pay you more money.
“Itâ€™s quality of life. Youâ€™ve got a wife and kids that are happy and have adjusted. Youâ€™ve got kids that like their school.
“You have some job security, as much as you can have in this business.”]
Perhaps its the chance to further his profile or work with a different level of athlete, but Aranda and the LSU brand sure could be a brutal combination for opposing defenses in the very near future.
This move also makes for a strange start to the 2016 season, as Aranda will sit across the field from the team he last coached when Wisconsin and LSU take to Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis. for the season opener.