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Opinion: Brian Kelly has dismissed any concerns about 'culture and fit'

LSU Tigers Wire logo LSU Tigers Wire 1/28/2022 Will Rosenblatt
© Gus Stark/LSU Athletics

Throughout coaching season, the words “culture” and “fit” are mentioned a lot.

They were certainly thrown out there in the wake of LSU hiring Brian Kelly. You could find countless clips and tweets of pundits and fans claiming Brian Kelly didn’t “fit” at LSU.

There wasn’t much reasoning behind this, except that Brian Kelly was not from Louisiana.

There are some things about Brian Kelly that make him easy targets for a joke. I’ve gotten a few off on him in my life. I’m sure some of the talk around Kelly’s arrival to LSU was just in good fun.

There is something to be said about understanding the lay of the land. That’s life. If you take a new job somewhere, it’s typically expected you’ll make some adaptations to fit the place you’re in.

After Brian Kelly’s first couple months on the job, there shouldn’t be any more concerns over his fit in Louisiana.

One of the first hires he made after arriving at LSU was Frank Wilson, who made a name for himself on the Louisiana recruiting trail while on Les Miles’ staff.

Then there’s Joe Sloan, who left an offensive coordinator position at Louisiana Tech to be the quarterback’s coach in Baton Rouge.

Prior to joining LSU, Sloan had been at Louisiana Tech since 2014. He’s another well-respected coach that has experience in the state.

Leading the wide receiver room is Cortez Hankton, a native of New Orleans. Hankton has been coaching in the SEC since 2015 and is coming off a national championship run with Georgia.

Brad Davis remains the offensive line coach. There’s little left to be said about how important he is to this staff and how strong his ties to the city of Baton Rouge and the state of Louisiana are.

That’s every position coach on the offensive staff. All with ties to Louisiana and all but Sloan with SEC coaching experience.

Kelly understood what he needed to do and he did it.

When it comes to the transfer portal, a good amount of the players LSU landed are originally from Louisiana.

This program feels as much “Louisiana” now as it did under Ed Orgeron.

That doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to work. This is the SEC, and you have to fight to be good no matter where your staff and players are from. I’m sure Kelly knows that too.

But for now, fans should be sold on Kelly’s ability to adapt and recruit. In the end, nobody will care about what accent he has if he wins.

If it was all about how well one’s accent fit with their school, Orgeron would still be the head coach at LSU.


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