Dave Aranda is expected to sign an extension with Baylor sometime over the next two weeks to remain the Bears coach, sources tell CBS Sports. The move will remove a significant name from the coaching carousel as three schools with top 20 jobs (Florida, LSU, USC) are still in pursuit of coaches.
Aranda, 45, is 11-9 in two seasons entering Saturday’s regular-season finale against Texas Tech. He managed one of the nation’s most significant turnarounds in 2021 as Baylor went from 2-7 last season to 9-2 this season. Baylor still can play in the Big 12 Championship Game if it defeats Texas Tech and Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma on Saturday.
The timing of Aranda signing his extension depends on whether Baylor plays in the Big 12 title game or concludes its regular season Saturday.
Aranda originally signed a six-year deal with Baylor in January 2020. His salary is not public because Baylor is a private institution. Previously, he made $2.5 million per year as LSU’s defensive coordinator.
Baylor proposing a new contract to Aranda was first reported by Yahoo Sports and Sports Illustrated.
With Aranda out of the picture, LSU and USC must adjust. Aranda’s name had come up at each school. Aranda coordinated the Tigers defense from 2016-19 and is a native Californian, which made coaching the Trojans an attractive option.
Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell has been considered the favorite at USC, but it is not certain whether he will make a move at the conclusion of the Bearcats’ season. A wait for Fickell might extend well into January if Cincinnati makes the College Football Playoff, and even then, he may decide to stay. Iowa State’s Matt Campbell is also considered a player for the USC vacancy and may be available right away with Iowa State, 6-5, playing 5-6 TCU on Saturday.
LSU is hosting Texas A&M in its season finale. There is still buzz that Aggies coach Jimbo Fisher is being pursued by LSU athletic director Scott Woodward despite Fisher twice stridently declaring his intention to stay in College Station, Texas.
Florida appears to have its sights set on Louisiana’s Billy Napier, who is 20-2 in his last two seasons leading the Ragin’ Cajuns.