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Dave Aranda returning to LSU, reportedly as country’s highest-paid assistant coach

Aranda’s gonna get a new title too, reportedly.

NCAA Football: Louisiana State Spring Game Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is coming back under new head coach Ed Orgeron.

Aranda will return with a fancy new title (according to the Baton Rouge Advocate). Don’t worry though; it’s just another thing to put on his business card, and he’ll still run the show on defense. It is a way to finesse a nice raise on an already lucrative contract deal.

The contract was expected to include a raise, extension and a new title of associate head coach. Aranda signed a three-year contract in January paying him $1.2 million a year, and his group lived up to its lofty preseason expectation level.

The previous highest-paid assistant was fired LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who made more than $1.5 million per year.

Aranda certainly has the bonafides to command that money as well. His defense has performed under the 74th percentile of all CFB teams only twice all this season. It’s also No. 4 in total defensive efficiency, according to S&P+.

It’s a major coup for Orgeron, who is establishing his first staff as head coach of the Tigers with a cornerstone already in place.

LSU is going to keep defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who put together 2016’s best plan to defend Alabama’s new spread option offense. That is a great start. It has some awesome recruiters on staff including, defensive backs coach Corey Raymond and receivers coach Dameyune Craig.

Staffing with high-level assistants is a way to go about building a coaching staff, but you have to have the resources to do so. LSU clearly does, and it’s a big boost as things move forward in the Orgeron era. But Orgeron doesn’t plan to stop here with assistant coaches. He’s reportedly targeting Lane Kiffin as his offensive coordinator, among other names.