Dave Aranda has been a hot name in the coaching rumor circles the past couple of years. He has been bandied about as a possible head coach and last year interviewed with the Green Bay Packers.
On Friday, the Wisconsin defensive coordinator left the Badgers for the same position with LSU.
LSU recently lost its defensive coordinator, Kevin Steele, who was hired last year, to Auburn. Aranda also interviewed for that position last year.
According to the USA assistant coaches salary database, Steele earned over $1 million at LSU this season while Aranda was slightly over $500,000, so he likely received a very hefty pay raise in moving from the Badgers to the SEC schooll.
Orgiinally brought to Wisconsin by Gary Andersen, for whom he coached with at Utah State, Aranda was retained by Paul Chryst as defensive coordinator upon his hiring. And for good reason.
From 2013-15, Aranda's defense -- which he changed to a 3-4 from Wisconsin's traditional 4-3 -- allowed an average of 289.4 yards per game -- which ranks first in the nation over that span. Wisconsin's defense allowed 16.9 points (No. 2 nationally), 179.9 passing yards (No. 3 nationally) and 109.6 rushing yards (No. 4 nationally) over the three years.
Wisconsin allowed 13.7 points per game this seaosn, wihch is second in the nation, recently passed by Alabama for the top spot.
"This is a great hire for us," LSU head coach Les Miles said in a release. "Dave has an outstanding track record of producing some of the best defenses in college football. We've seen him up close and understand how difficult it is to have success against him."
Now Wisconsin will get to find out as well as the Badgers open the 2016 season against LSU in Lambeau Field.
For Chryst, the glow of winning the Holiday Bowl lasted all of two days. Now he has to find a new defensive coordinator. His DC at Pittsburgh was Matt House, who was the defensive coordinator at Florida International this past year. FIU was 86th in the nation in point allowed per game at 29.8.