Originally posted on Saturday Night Slant  |  Last updated 2/22/12



News broke Wednesday night that defensive backs coach Ron Cooper was leaving LSU for the Tampa Bay Buccaners. It is really no surprise that others coveted Ron Cooper.  After all, Cooper has coached the last two Thorpe Award winners (Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne), the last two Bednarik Award winners (Patrick Paterson and Tyrann Mathieu) and a Heisman Finalist (Mathieu).  He also had a knack for identifying talent and then coaching it up in a big way.   At the end of the day, it's better for LSU to have coaches that other teams want than coaches who attract no attention.  It's best to thank Coach Coop for his time here and to hire another great coach.  

LSU will certainly miss Cooper, but LSU fans' thoughts immediately turn to his replacement.  Who will it be?   Here are a few candidates, based on nothing but their ties to Louisiana/LSU and general speculation:


Corey Raymond DB Coach, Nebraska - Raymond played four years at LSU and graduated at 1992.  He then played six seasons in the NFL.  He got into coaching at the high school level before becoming an assistant strength coach at LSU from 2006 to 2008.  He left to coach cornerbacks at Utah State before reuniting with Bo Pelini to coach defensive backs at Nebraska.

Raymond's ties to LSU and Louisiana make him an obvious candidate and should prove beneficial on the recruiting trail.  He was also at LSU under Les Miles and is familiar with the current program and some current coaches.  


Terry Joseph DB Coach/Recruiting Coorindator, Tennessee -  Joseph is a New Orleans native that started coaching at Shaw and Destrehan high school.  He spent one season as a grad assistant at LSU under Les Miles before coaching the secondary at Louisiana Tech under Derek Dooley.   Joseph followed Dooley to Tennessee.  

Like Raymond, Joseph has ties to the state and to LSU that make him a good fit.   He already recruits the state of Louisiana for Tennessee so the transitioin would be an easy one.  Since he holds a coordinator position for the Vols, it may take some additional money to get him away.  


Carlton Buckels CB Coach, Baylor - Buckels has been with Baylor for one full season after previously coaching at North Texas.  Buckels is a LSU alum who graduated in 1992 (same as Raymond).   He attended Amite high school and started his coaching career in that area, coaching for Hammond high school.   After a brieft stint as a grad assistant at LSU, he worked his way up from Delta State to Southeastern to New Mexico State before landing at North Texas.

After spending the last four years coaching in Texas, he could have some ties to Texas for recruiting purposes.  It's unclear what area he recruits for Baylor.


Other candidates could include:

Larry Slade DB Coach, Louisville - Coached with Chavis at Tennessee and with Kragthorpe for one season at Louisville. 


One area where Ron Cooper did not excel was recruiting.  LSU can certainly improve there with this hire, and for that reason, I favor Raymond or Joseph as his replacement.  It will be interesting to see what names surface in the coming days.  We could see a name come from nowhere like we did with LSU's new receivers coach, Adam Henry.  


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