Baylor has hired LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda as its next head coach, the university reported Thursday.
“Today is an exciting day for Baylor,” athletic director Mack Rhoades said in a statement. “Dave is a special person who loves football and his student-athletes is highly intelligent, and is a great mission fit for both Baylor Athletics and the University at large.”
Aranda, 43, developed as the leading competitor Thursday morning. Virginia Tech mentor Justin Fuente and Louisiana mentor Billy Napier, who each spoke with Baylor about the job, declared Thursday that they are staying with their schools.
Joey McGuire, who is serving as Baylor’s interval head coach, likewise drew thought for the permanent situation. McGuire is the partner head coach and defensive ends coach.
Aranda will supplant Matt Rhule, who a week ago left to become head coach of the Carolina Panthers. Rhule spent three seasons at Baylor; in 2019, he guided the Bears to 11 successes, a spot in the Big 12 championship game and a Sugar Bowl appearance.
“I’m excited to get started as a Baylor Bear,” Aranda said. “From the outside looking in, I was so impressed watching Baylor play. Seeing the unity of the team and the togetherness of their play illustrated a strong culture. After meeting Mack Rhoades, talking with President [Linda] Livingstone and seeing Baylor’s alignment from top-down, you can see why they have been so successful. I’m ready to touch down in Waco and get to work.”
Aranda had gone through the previous four years at LSU and helped the Tigers win the national championship on Monday against Clemson. He was the highest-paid assistant in college football, procuring $2.5 million every year.
He is the second high-profile LSU assistant to leave the Tigers. Passing game organizer Joe Brady joined Rhule as an offensive coordinator for the Panthers.
Baylor will mark Aranda’s first head-coaching job. He additionally served as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, Utah State, Hawaii, Southern Utah, Delta State, and Cal Lutheran, where he played football with current Texas mentor Tom Herman.
Aranda has instructed in the state of Texas twice previously, first as a graduate assistant for Mike Leach at Texas Tech and afterward as linebackers mentor at Houston for two seasons.
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