4 things to know about LSU football defensive coordinator Dave Aranda

Lana Wynn
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

The 2019 football season marked LSU football defensive coordinator Dave Aranda's fourth year on the Tigers' coaching staff.

Along with being the defensive coordinator, Aranda holds the positions of associate head coach to Ed Orgeron and linebacker coach. He joined LSU's staff in 2016 under former LSU football head coach Les Miles.

Here are a few things to know about him.

Dave Aranda is the highest-paid assistant coach in college football

Dec 28, 2019; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; LSU Tigers defensive coordinator/linebackers coach/associate head coach Dave Aranda reacts during the third quarter of the 2019 Peach Bowl college football playoff semifinal game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Aranda is the highest-paid assistant coach in college football. He has an annual salary of $2.5 million. That's $300,000 more than the second highest-paid assistant coach, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

Aranda began at LSU in 2016 with an annual salary of a little over $1.3 million. In 2017, that was bumped up to $1.8 million yearly.

His contract was renewed in 2018 after former LSU coach Les Miles was replaced by Orgeron and is now a four-year, $10 million deal, with a max bonus of $150,000.

More on Aranda's contract:

Dave Aranda was a leading force in LSU's 2020 CFP National Championship run

New LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda has a proven track record of devolping elite defenses.

The 2019 LSU Tigers team left little room for argument that it had the best offense in college football. Under the direction of offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and passing coordinator Joe Brady, Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Joe Burrow led the team to hold the top statistics in total yards, total touchdowns and yards-per-game prior to the championship.

But Aranda's defense was also key in the Tigers' run for the 2020 CFP National Championship.

In the three games leading up to the playoffs, the Tigers gave up only 37 points. LSU most recently secured a 63-28 win over the Oklahoma Sooners, one of the best offenses in the country.

On average, LSU held opponents to 21.64 points per game throughout the 2019-20 season. 

Learn more:How LSU's defense dismantled Hurts and the Sooners

Dave Aranda has more than two decades of coaching experience

Former UW defensive coordinator Dave Aranda now has the same job at LSU.

Aranda began his coaching career in 1995 as a high school football coach in California. After one season, he joined the staff as a linebackers coach at California Lutheran for three years. 

He subsequently spent three seasons as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech, two seasons as a linebacker coach at Houston, two seasons as a defensive coordinator and linebackers coach back at California Lutheran and one season as the co-defensive coordinator at Delta State.

Aranda joined the coaching staff at Hawaii in 2008, beginning as a defensive line coach and working his way up to defensive coordinator. He spent the 2012 season as defensive coordinator at Utah State.

Prior to joining the staff at LSU, Aranda was the defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach at Wisconsin. The Badgers' defense under Aranda was ranked first in points allowed per game (13.7) and second in total defense (268.5 yards allowed per game).

Dave Aranda never played college football

No. 1: Dave Aranda, LSU defensive coordinator: $2,500,000. A year after his salary was increased to $1.8 million, Texas A&M’s interest in Aranda prompted LSU to renegotiate his contract again, this time giving him a four-year deal that pays $2.5 million annually. In 2012, Utah State’s defensive coordinator, he was making $155,000.

Aranda's football career ended right out of high school following numerous surgeries. He joined the coaching staff of his alma mater, Redlands High School, after graduating. 

After one year, he began pursuing a bachelor's degree at California Lutheran and joined the coaching staff as a linebackers coach. 

Lana Wynn is a digital producer with the USA Today Network. You can find her on Twitter @alanawynn. 

More on LSU football