It’s been approximately 10 days since former Baylor football coach Matt Rhule announced his departure to take the same job with the Carolina Panthers (although it feels like a lifetime ago!!) and after wild speculation over who would be the Bears’ next head coach, Baylor Athletic Director Mack Rhoades announced that the reigns would be handed to former LSU Defensive Coordinator Dave Aranda. Baylor fans were either ecstatic or disappointed by the news as many (as well as current Baylor football players) wanted to see interim Head Coach Joey McGuire given control over the team. However, it’s not difficult to see why Rhoades chose Dave Aranda for the job. The DC just finished coaching the 2020 National Championship team, which includes one of the greatest quarterback seasons in history (although he didn’t coach Joe Burrow himself). Dave Aranda is more of a soft spoken character unlike that of Rhule, whose quick talking made transcribing press conferences extremely difficult.
Aranda left LSU after four seasons running the defense, where his portion of the team was ranked in the top 5 in each of the defensive categories. He had the same title at Wisconsin (2013-2015) before taking the Tigers job and his Badgers defense also ranked in the top 5 in defensive categories. Aranda spent one season (2012) as the Utah State Defensive Coordinator after leaving the University of Hawaiʻi (yes, we have a Rainbow Warriors connection!). While he was at UH from 2008-2011, Aranda held the positions of Defensive Line coach and Defensive Coordinator, helping his 2010 squad to a No. 1 ranking in turnovers caused and a No. 2 ranking in interceptions (not bad for a WAC team in the middle of the ocean). Prior to his time at UH, Aranda took on the role of Co-Defensive Coordinator at Delta State University for the 2007 season where his team earned the title in the Gulf South Conference. Aranda coached at California Lutheran as the Defensive Coordinator and Linebackers coach for two seasons and in the years prior, he coached the linebackers at Houston from 2003-2004 and worked as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech from 2000-2002. Although he played in college, multiple shoulders surgeries sidelined his career, and Dave Aranda focused on coaching with his first gig as Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach/Offensive Line Coach at Redlands High School in California. The new Baylor Head Coach’s resume clearly shows how brilliant and capable he is as a defensive mind, so I’m hoping that if Joey McGuire stays and the department hires someone with just as much offensive talent, the future will continue shining for Baylor football.
As a PS: how great is it to have some representation other than only white head coaches? Praise be for that!