Contracts for Jake Peetz and DJ Mangas, settlement with Bo Pelini approved by Board of Supervisors

Contracts for LSU coach Ed Orgeron’s new offensive coordinator and passing-game coordinator were approved by the Board of Supervisors athletic committee Friday, along with the settlement with former defensive coordinator Bo Pelini and amendments to former offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger and defensive line coach Bill Johnson.

Peetz agreed to a two-year deal that pays him $1.2 million in the first season, $1.3 million in 2022 and gives him a one-time payment of $150,000.

Mangas agreed to a two-year deal that pays him $400,000 per year. Both Peetz’s and Mangas’ postseason incentive packages max out at $75,000 per year.

Both deals are set to end March 31, 2023.

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Now that his contract has been approved, Peetz is LSU’s highest-paid offensive coordinator since Matt Canada signed a three-year, $1.5 million per year deal in 2017 — a contract the university later had to settle when the football program and Canada parted ways after one season.

Peetz’s contract is tied for 16th among NCAA assistant coaches, according to contract data compiled by USA Today during the 2020 season. The contract is in the same range as Ohio State offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson ($1.2 million per year) and Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken ($1.1 million).

The 37-year-old Peetz was a reputable quarterback coach with the Carolina Panthers, an experienced coach who had spent seven seasons as an assistant in the NFL, four in the NCAA, most of which were spent working with quarterbacks.

Since Canada, LSU was paying its top offensive staffers more in the middle of the market.

How does Jake Peetz define his offensive philosophy? Similar to LSU’s historic 2019 unit.

Ensminger, who retired from on-field coaching to become an analyst last month, was paid $800,000 a year for two seasons before receiving a raise to $1 million in 2020.

Still, combined with former passing game coordinator Scott Linehan’s $800,000 per year contract, LSU was paying its top two offensive staffers about a combined $1.8 million for the 2020 season.

Linehan, with whom LSU parted ways with after one season, is still owed the full remainder of his contract, a buyout that is about $1 million. LSU can still gain some relief from the liquidated damages if Linehan is hired as a coach somewhere else.

Together, the two-coach package deal of Peetz and Mangas will be about an 11% decrease from Ensminger-Linehan for the 2021 season.

The 31-year-old Mangas is receiving an offer comparable to what former passing game coordinators Joe Brady ($410,000 per year) and Jerry Sullivan ($460,000) were paid during their one-year tenures.

New LSU offensive coordinator Jake Peetz talks concepts, personnel, future and more in Q&A

When LSU announced in late December that it was parting ways with Pelini, the university said it would be settling its contract with Pelini in a one-time payment instead of the liquidated damages listed in his contract.

LSU will pay Pelini $4 million by Jan. 31, according to a termination agreement between the former coach and the university, which includes five $14,000 payments through March 31, 2023.

The Advocate obtained the three-page separation agreement through an open records request, along with the amended contracts of Ensminger and Johnson.

Both Ensminger and Johnson retired from on-field coaching after the 2020 season and will be moving to behind-the-scenes positions on LSU’s analyst staff.

Ensminger, who was entering the final season of a $1 million per contract, will instead become an “at-will employee” for LSU and receive a one-time payment of $500,000 by Jan. 31.

Johnson will remain under his $550,000 per year contract, but his term date was amended to conclude a year earlier June 30.

The financial settlement between LSU and Pelini finalizes a divorce after one rocky season in which the Tigers had its worst statistical defensive performance in school history.

The Tigers ranked 97th nationally in scoring defense (34.9 points allowed per game), 124th in total defense (492 yards allowed per game) and ranked last in total number of plays surrendered of over 40 yards (14), over 50 yards (6) and over 90 yards (1).

It was Pelini’s second stint at LSU. He coordinated the Tigers defenses from 2005-07, and he left to be the head coach at Nebraska (2008-14) after LSU won the 2007 BCS national championship.

The divorce was expected to be an expensive one: Pelini was guaranteed all the remaining income in his three-year, $2.3 million per year contract, which would’ve pegged his original buyout at about $5.2 million.

LSU linebacker Ray Thornton has entered the NCAA transfer portal; source

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