LSU DC Dave Aranda Reportedly Agrees to Contract to Be Baylor's Head Coach

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2020

OXFORD, MISSISSIPPI - NOVEMBER 16: Defensive  coordinator Dave Aranda of the LSU Tigers reacts during a game against the Mississippi Rebels at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on November 16, 2019 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

LSU defensive coordinator and associate head coach Dave Aranda has reportedly agreed to terms to replace Matt Rhule as head coach at Baylor after he helped guide the Tigers to the national championship Monday night with a win over Clemson, according to Stadium's Brett McMurphy.

Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated first reported Aranda was the leader for the vacant position.

Rhule guided the Bears to an 11-3 mark in 2019 before he accepted an offer to become head coach of the NFL's Carolina Panthers last week.

Aranda has 25 years of high school and college coaching experience. He's served as LSU's associate head coach, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach since 2016, and his $2.5 million salary for 2019 made him the nation's highest-paid assistant, per USA Today.

In December, the 43-year-old Texas Tech product was linked to the UNLV head coaching vacancy, but he opted to remain with the Tigers. He told Brooks Kubena of The Advocate he was "thrilled at the interest" but was waiting for the perfect opportunity for himself and his family.

"You know," Aranda said. "The interest of being a head coach, I think, has always been there."

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Along with LSU, he's filled various roles on the staffs of Texas Tech, Houston, Hawaii, Utah State and Wisconsin, among other schools, during his career.

At Baylor, he'll inherit a Big 12 program that's reached double-digit wins in five of the past nine years, but there would be pressure to hit the ground running. The Bears sit last in the conference in 2020 recruiting class rankings ahead of national signing day Feb. 5, per 247Sports.