The Legend of Coach O
Why this much emotion coach such a big game? They beat US eight years. I got tired of your no so I mean it was time I told the team tonight. We taught allied. If you follow college football you probably know that voice. He belongs to a guy who's loud road tough in might be more suited for his job than anyone in America. LSU head coach at Oberlin today ahead of Monday's national championship game against Clemson. We tell the story of a man who seems like he was built in a lab to coach football in Louisiana and why despite that. It's actually surprising that he ended up there at all times. It's Friday January tenth this is espn daily presented by Dell Small Business David. How's it going is going quite it will mean a thank you for having me David Hale writes about college football for ESPN so your story is about coach? Ed Osea Ron really the legend coach. But I want to start by talking to you about perhaps his most noteworthy characteristic which is of course his boy to get to where you wanna go see like you have to go undefeated you have to beat Alabama you have to keep on going and then you have to win Sec Championship then you got football playoff oilfield so if you start thinking about my favorite thing in the World David is being in a room and watching someone here at for the first time because because it really never fails to shock. Anyone who's hearing we knew was going to win that game. Today we started Monday. NO-GO windows gape go. Don't you want to write his autobiography. Just so he can also do the voice over work. What's on the menu at the odor on household today? What are we got cocoa? My mom made a special gumbel but it was on. We'd better win the game. It would just be so wonderful. One of his first jobs was at Arkansas. As assistant strength coach the players there thought he was pranking them they. They didn't think that anyone actually talks that way. And they couldn't make heads or tails of what he was saying. Either it was. He's just he would get excited and start saying things with this gravelly Cajun accent and then he pointing the direction and they would just go do whatever was in that direction because they had no idea what he he was saying but he was saying it loud enough that they were afraid of him and it was only after like he'd been on the job for a month or two that they were like. Well I you know he's kept us up a long time. I guess that is his voice. We love the voice. Everyone does now but it at times says constant now. Yeah he's coached in some places that are not Louisiana. Yeah everybody talks about how he is Phyllis you but he was in Miami he was in Syracuse. He was in USC and and his last stint in USC he came on to replace place Lane Kiffin as the interim coach there had some success at USC. And I think there were folks there who would have loved to have given him the fulltime job because he had that success. But there were also folks Has Been reported by numerous folks I think including Bruce Feldman that the voice was one of the reasons you couldn't hire him as US's sees coach because you're the voice of the program. You're the face of the program you're the identity of the program and that's not USC right that's not La. Look at how he talks. He's not the model of USC so we can't hire them and there's a lot of folks at USC or probably kicking themselves for that exact thought process now. Well the voice is a perfect fit for Lsu else you I mean just about everything about co is a perfect fit for Lsu. It's almost like if you reverse engineered a coach based on Louisiana Anna Football. It would look sound and act like him and he's got roots right. In the state of Louisiana. He is from the Food Perish. It's bio country. Outside of New Orleans. His Dad grew bon shrimp boats ways just every bit the sort of central casting version of what we think of as Louisiana. You know if you've watched waterboy you kind of have a rough idea of what I think it owes runs. Background is one of the great anecdotes that his mom gave me. Okay so he was in second grade and broke his leg and the doctor fitted him for a cast. It went from foot all the way up to the upper thigh and he picked up some trudges out there and play football on crutches and about every week or so she would have to drag him back into the doctor's office to get fitted for a new cast because he would get it so dirty and muddy and mucked up from playing football in a full leg. CAST I'm sorry they let a second grader. Played football. I don't know that even let is the proper word there so much as he just went and did it So he kept playing in high school then college got to high school and he was a full grown man from day one one and he was a big guy and went to college as a defensive. LINEMAN ended up at Lsu for a year and hated it because for the first time in his life football ball was hard he was not having immediate success. He was not playing routinely He was being forced to go to classes. He wasn't super eager to go to and and he left. Lsu went back home and thought maybe that's the end of college football. And I'll go get a real by job like my dad and I'll go work on a shrimp boat and turns out. You may be surprised to learn that working on a shrimp boat is much less fun than in football And so I think that was you know when you talk to his mom that summer after he left. Lsu went back home to work. Real jobs was was a lot of ways sort of a turning point for coach. Oh and that he got a taste of what life is like when everything is not being handed to you to. How did he end back in football? He decided he needed to go play football again which meant he had to go back to college which was not really his favorite thing but he decided to go to northwest Louisiana State. That's where he finished his career and then went looking for football coaching jobs and the first job he could find was as a strength coach and soccer. Yeah shocker this. Like three hundred pound beast of a man finds a strength coaching job. And the job. Java's with Arkansas. Ken Hatfield to coach the time Ed walks in. And he's this beast of a man and he's got that voice and he's so excited and he's like I don't know if he can do this job but he sure looks the Bart's so we're going to hire them and tell you ended up getting into coaching. He worked at Arkansas for a little while and I think he really wanted to to do something. More than being the strength coach the ends up landing miraculously enough at the absolute heart of college football in the nineteen eighty s and early nineteen ninety S. Which is at the University of Miami? They celebrate a Miami the Hurricanes Complain and the coaching on the same staff. Tommytucker Ville tougher telling me they were. They went down to Key West on vacation. You want one year and they're in like this Nice restaurant having dinner and get the talking about football technique and overrun so excited about it. He likes slides tables out of the way and gets down the three point stance and he's trying to explain technique to to top Ville and he's like pushing tables and chairs out of the way and like diners are just looking over gawking. At what the heck is is this man doing your. But that's just sort of the approach that he brought and I think his time at Miami really offered him an opportunity to prove that ed behind that bluster and the Raspy gravelly cage invoice that there is a guy who really knows a heck of a lot about football. How did it go for him? In Miami off the field not great. He was someone who went out a lot. Drank drank a lot and the things that you could get away with when you're twenty northwestern Louisiana you don't get away with as a coach on the staff of one of the premier programs grams in college football. And so you know the story that really I think ended up up ending his career involved him being a bar. T was thrown out of the bar for being too intoxicated and he was not happy with that and ended up getting into a fight and legal proceedings. Happened in that essentially was the end of his time in Miami but I think it was also sort of a wakeup call for him so when he gets away from football ball it was a lot of ways probably very much like when he went back to work the shrimp boats after leaving. LSU Is that he kind of realized. This isn't the life that I want. This isn't who I WANNA be. I don't think that he shies away from those. Oh stories now. He's still shares them with current players in in the way of trying to relate to them and going through it and a lot of ways has probably been in what pushed him to turn things around and become the person that he is.