What. A. Week. Last week was a uncharted territory for an LSU team that has been led by Les Miles for the last 11 1/3 seasons. It was also unchartered territory for myself, who has only worked for one head coach in my career so far. In a span of six days we appointed a brand new head coach, had multiple coaching changes and a went through a whole lot of other changes that ended with a record-setting win over an SEC opponent.
Saturday night was just what the LSU Tigers needed. The week leading up to the game versus Missouri was filled with energy and excitement but also a lot of unknown. A new coach would lead the Tigers into Death Valley that was not Les Miles. It is literally a new era of LSU Football with Ed Orgeron as our new head coach for the remainder of the 2016 season.
The excitement in Baton Rouge surrounding the game was high, no doubt. It started with Coach O’s packed radio show on Wednesday night. Since I started back working for LSU Football in 2012, I have gone to the radio show with the other ladies in the office every Wednesday night each season. This was by far the most crowded the show had been in years. It was a great feeling to have support and excitement surrounding the team, but it was also a nerve-racking week not being on our typical schedule (which brought a lot of positives) and figuring some things out on the fly. However, with the staff and personnel Coach O put into place, it all seemed to go seamlessly.
Saturday was another ‘Take Your Parents to Work’ day for me, and I was excited to have both my mom and dad in Tiger Stadium for the game. My parents have been working so hard lately taking care of my grandmother after she had surgery and they totally deserved a day to have fun and relax! They are both huge LSU fans, so I am glad they were in Tiger Stadium for such a significant game. It is one of the most enjoyable parts of my job to be able to share LSU with my parents, family and friends.
I had the opportunity to interview some former players before the game, and the excitement was evident from each of them as well. I enjoy this part of my job because of the unique perspective I get from guys who all played at LSU at different points in time. They share the bond of all being former players whether they played in the 70’s or just finished their rookie year in the NFL. It is also great to have them back home on campus showing their support for our current team. It means a lot to everyone involved with the team to have these guys visit us during their off time.
The energy and emotion of the day ended with a huge win over the Missouri Tigers. LSU put up the most offensive yards in an SEC game in program history. This is HUGE for LSU. Our defense also held Missouri to only seven points.
And, we all had fun doing it.
I think this is the most important aspect of this particular game. The players, the coaches, the fans – everyone was having fun, and really, that is what college football is about. This is the spark we needed after two early season losses and a coaching swith. This team has the talent, passion and coaching to go far this year, and I hope each and every day we keep winning for these guys. Because just like having fun, college football is about the players, and these players deserve to have a magical season.
Every day in sports is different. I approached this particular change as just another way to learn a part of working in this industry. Coach O is now the second head coach I have worked for at LSU. I have worked for many different assistant coaches and now multiple coordinators, but this is the first time I have experienced working for a head coach that is not Les Miles. This is just another different day of working in sports but always with the same sentiment – I am proud of this team, this staff and ALWAYS proud to be a Tiger!
I don’t know what the rest of the season holds for the Tigers, but I do know that for one night in October we had a lot of fun after a lot heartache, and we won’t soon forget that game.
LSU VS MISSOURI
Top: Leith from Nordstrom | Pants: J. Crew | Shoes: Marc Fisher | Jewelry: BaubleBar pinata tassel drop earrings – BaubleBar mini acrylic state pendant | Purse: Savvyroot Astor clear crossbody bag [c/o] | Sunglasses: Nike