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plance
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2007
1145 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Small personal coaching circle, and was unwilling to expand it.

The “I know what’s best” is common with HC, but his circle was so small - and bad, it was insane.


SeanLSU
LSU Fan
Member since May 2019
660 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Dinardo got LSU moving back in the right direction and laid the groundwork for what Saban would later elevate. Some guys know how to go from bad to okay or good, but then they don't know how to go to the next level from there. Houston Nutt was similar at Arkansas. Dinardo made some critical coaching hire mistakes that ultimate hurt him. He also wasn't able to capitalize on the upward trend he established on the field by stepping up the recruiting game enough to keep moving.

I'll say this, though. I was a student at the time and in the band, and Dinardo and his wife were incredibly kind and warm to the band, cheerleaders, and other support teams that helped make the gameday environment. He was genuinely one of the nicest coaches you could ever meet. I've enjoyed seeing him on TV in the years after his coaching days wrapped up. Good dude.


TBoy@LSU
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2012
3997 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Here is Scott Rabalais' take:

quote:

LSU Short Story
How Quickly It Can Change
Scott Rabalais, The Fighting Tigers 1993-2008: Into a New Century of LSU Football (2008)
LSU had just won the 1997 Independence Bowl, their third bowl victory in the three years of Gerry DiNardo's tenure as head coach.
As the new year beckoned, there was every reason to believe the Tigers were back, and ready to scale even greater heights.
With a 26-9-1 record the previous three seasons, LSU was winning consistently again. Recruiting was strong. Although some top prospects like Travis Minor and Thomas Pittman had slipped away, others such as Kevin Faulk and Cecil Collins had stayed home. At the top of it all was Gerry DiNardo, now entrenched as LSU football's leader and comfortable enough to put down roots. ...
But even as LSU fans basked in the afterglow of defeating Notre Dame in the Independence Bowl and excitement for the new season built month by month, there were troubling clouds on the horizon. Before the bowl, defensive coordinator Carl Reese left for a similar position at Texas, ending a seven-year coaching run with DiNardo. Their working relationship had cooled when DiNardo took a more hands-on approach to the defense after the 36-21 upset loss to Ole Miss in 1997. Whoever was in charge, LSU had led the SEC in scoring defense for the second time in the last three seasons. To replace Reese, DiNardo hired Lou Tepper, dismissed as head coach at Illinois in 1996 after his third nonwinning season in five with the Illini. They had coached together in Colorado, and DiNardo was eager to fit a familiar hand into his program. He had a vision of doing things the LSU way.
"I didn't want this to be a coordinator-based program," DiNardo explained. "I wanted it to be the LSU offense and the LSU defense. Whether it was Carl Reese or Lou Tepper or Morris Watts, I wanted to be facilitator.
"Was it the right decision? Maybe not. But it wasn't a whim. It was the opposite of ego driven. I said, 'Let's make this about LSU.'"
Tepper may have been brought in to run the LSU defense the LSU way, but he had changes in mind. During his coaching exile after leaving Illinois, he wrote a book called Complete Linebacking. In it, he described a position that would become infamous to LSU fans: the drop linebacker. A utility position designed to stop the pass, support the run, press the tight end, and guard the flats near the sideline, it accomplished none of those objectives well at LSU. At the time, though, it was part of Tepper's plan to switch LSU from Reese's 4-2-5 to a 3-4 base formation. The change would require more linebackers, drop or otherwise. "We will find some linebackers," Tepper promised.


LINK


ragincajun03
LA-Lafayette Fan
Energy Capital of the World, TX
Member since Nov 2007
13924 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
quote:

The defense was actually better in 1999


Yeah...because my school hired away yall's D-Line coach and gave him a head coaching gig.

This post was edited on 11/5 at 9:10 am


TopWaterTiger
LSU Fan
Lake Charles, LA
Member since May 2006
8100 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Dinardo kinda got caught up in his own success. He "brought back the magic" and was King in BR because LSU sucked so bad under Curly Hallman. He was on every commercial and billboard in town and had his own Restaurant. Almost seemed to become more focused on his "brand" than LSU.

Then he made some terrible coaching hires that led to his losing record and ultimate firing. LSU still had some talent. They just stopped playing for him.

Eerily similar to what is happening this year imo.


TBoy@LSU
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2012
3997 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
quote:

Yeah...because my school hired away yall's D-Line coach and gave him a head coaching gig.


Yes then y'all fired him and he sued ULL and won a $2M jury verdict in federal court. Pretty sure it was overturned on appeal.

Jerry Baldwin v. ULL


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rob62
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2016
2620 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Ok, there has been a lot of comments regarding what happened under Dinardo. The truth is it was Joe Dean’s refusal to pay for assistant coaches to keep Dinardo competitive. Under Dinardo, LSU had the 7th highest paid staff in the SEC out if 12 in those days. Dinardo had Carl Reese as his DC and Reese was one of the best DCs in the country but when Texas offered Reese a $100,000 raise and Dean refused to even give Reese a raise. Reese left for Texas.

LSU had a very good OC in Morris Watts but lost him to Michigan State and Saban when once again Watts was not offered a raise so he bolted.

LSU’s staff was losing assistants to Mississippi State and State had a better paid staff than Dinardo. This is why Dinardo hired an unemployed Lou Tepper because he could not hire top assistants or even keep the good coaches on his staff. It was impossible for Dinardo to have a talented staff and LSU’s assistant coaches were like a revolving door.

Joe Dean did more damage to LSU Football than most fans realize. He was cheap and a meddler. This is why when it came time to replace Dinardo Joe Dean was not allowed to hire the next coach. As we all know Saban was hired by Emert. Then Joe Dean was “encouraged” to retire and Skip took over. This is what the root problems were for Dinardo.
This post was edited on 11/5 at 12:43 pm


LSUStar
LSU Fan
Medellin
Member since Sep 2009
7479 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Dean was incompetent


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Mithridates6
LSU Fan
Member since Oct 2019
8220 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
quote:

Small personal coaching circle, and was unwilling to expand it.


DiNardo should've hired this guy, who was the DC when Gerry was the OC for Colorado when they won the NC; he's doing a great job at Northwestern U now with minimal talent. Dean probably wouldn't have been willing to outbid A&M though
LINK


Ethan Martin
LSU Fan
New Orleans
Member since Dec 2006
1408 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Dinardo if you can believe it inherited a ton of talent, Hallman's last couple of years were great recruiting years. I can remember James Gillyard and and Gabe Northern at Defensive end, it was immediately a stout defense, then add some great O Lineman and the some of the best backs ever at LSU and we were off to the races.

Then the loss of coaches, and players reading press clippings happened.


atltiger6487
Member since May 2011
13475 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
two words: Lou Tepper.


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ATLTiger
#TreyBiletnikoffs
Member since Sep 2003
41333 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
quote:

I can remember James Gillyard and and Gabe Northern at Defensive end


and Tory James and Denard Walker (2 NFL CBs), Chuck Wiley at DT (again, NFL), Stansbury at LB. yep, there was talent.


DBG
New Orleans Saints Fan
vermont
Member since May 2004
58712 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
The talent was mostly relegated to 1 year, 1995, then Gerry had to reload, which he basically did with the great 1996-97 seasons.

Most people have pinpointed the issues- failure to attract good assistant coaches, whether his own fault or because Joe Dean was too cheap, probably a combo of both.

That said, Gerry was a great guy and doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with Hallman era.


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semjase
LSU Fan
Member since May 2014
7304 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
quote:

He started with a good coaching staff and had some early success. As coaches and coordinators left, he replaced them with people who were not so qualified. That was his downfall.
This is it in a nutshell.

DB Coach Ron Case left first to be on Mack Brown's staff at North Carolina.

DC Carl Reese then hit DiNardo with a fatal blow when he left to join John Makovic's staff at Texas.

Lou Tepper was hired to replace Reese and the rest is history.........


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msully
LSU Fan
Nashville
Member since Aug 2011
636 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Wrong answer . He kicked the team captain off the team . Players got mad stopped playing . Looks a bit like this LSU team .


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St Jean The Baptiste
Houston Astros Fan
Laredo, TX
Member since Aug 2015
3441 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Lou Tepp-ah


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Pas Bon
LSU Fan
League City, TX
Member since Sep 2003
890 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Didn’t have a good relationship with players. Ran them into the ground in practice. Wasn’t a good personality fit around here.


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Clark W Griswold
LSU Fan
THE USA
Member since Sep 2012
8891 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Lou Tepper = Bo Pelini
Dinardeauxs Restaurant = Flip The Script Book
Stubborn And Arrogant = Same


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Thorny
LSU Fan
Montgomery, AL
Member since May 2008
1195 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
quote:

His corners lined up 7-10 yds off of the receiver every play. In a three receiver or more set, he refused to play nickle. He dropped a linebacker over the slot for coverage. Everyone exploited it. Everyone.


I was at the 98 game at Notre Dame with my brother, who graduated from there.

We were up 13 in the 4th quarter, and every play I was calling out which ND receiver would be open. Everyone in the stadium could see how bad the defensive alignments were.

GEAUX TIGERS


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nicholastiger
LSU Fan
Baton Rouge
Member since Jan 2004
24657 posts

re: Where did Dinardo go wrong?
Dinardo was a good guy
His offense at the time was outdated and would have never consistently competed with Florida for the SEC

Losing Carl Reese and replacing with Lou Tepper was a disaster and Tuberville made LSU look bad with far less talent, I remember sitting in Tiger Stadium the week after Fla for Ole Miss and LSU refusing to cover that intermediate route that burned LSU all game, no adjustments at all.

When things went bad he had no response

Talent has never been the issue with LSU football - Dinardo inherited good players as bad as Hallman was and Saban inherited good players from Dinardo.


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