LSU finally set to name offensive coordinator

FILE - This Aug. 6, 2011 file photo shows Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, left, speaking with quarterback Joe Flacco during NFL football training camp in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
FILE - This Aug. 6, 2011 file photo shows Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, left, speaking with quarterback Joe Flacco during NFL football training camp in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

LSU football finally has its new man to lead the Tigers’ offense.

After more than a week of speculation, the school Thursday called a news conference for 11 a.m. Friday to introduce its new offensive coordinator.

A news release from the school did not name the new coach, but every indication is that it will be former Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron. A source familiar with the situation confirmed Wednesday that Cameron was coach Les Miles’ choice. Miles and Cameron are close friends dating to their days together on the coaching staff at Michigan.

Cameron replaces Greg Studrawa, who will return to strictly handling the offensive line after two years as offensive coordinator, the source said. Studrawa also is expected to receive some sort of additional title.

Quarterbacks coach Steve Kragthorpe is expected to move into some sort of administrative role to make room for Cameron. NCAA rules limit FBS schools to nine on-the-field assistants. Studrawa became offensive coordinator in 2011 after Kragthorpe was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Cameron would be charged with breathing life into a sluggish offense that ranked 85th in the FBS in total yards (374.2 per game) and 92nd in passing offense (200.5 yards). The Tigers were outgained in their final three games and five times overall.

LSU’s offense appeared to hit a pair of low points in the Tigers’ 25-24 loss to Clemson on New Year’s Eve in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. LSU was outgained 445-219 and managed just 48 plays to Clemson’s 100, including only six offensive snaps in the fourth quarter.

In January, Miles said there was “a need to execute this offense in a more effective manner. … That’s something we’re all looking to get accomplished.”

Cameron, 52, returns to the college ranks after spending most of the past 11 years in the NFL. He was offensive coordinator in San Diego from 2002-06, then went 1-15 as head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2007 after succeeding former LSU and current Alabama coach Nick Saban.

Cameron then became offensive coordinator of the Baltimore Ravens in 2008.

Cameron was fired by the Ravens midway through the 2012 season. Baltimore went on to win Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome with Jim Caldwell as play-caller.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh called Cameron’s dismissal “the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as a coach.” Cameron called his firing “a brilliant move,” telling the New York Times that it forced everyone on the team to take “a look in the mirror after that.”

Cameron began his coaching career in 1986 at Michigan, where he stayed through 1993 as quarterbacks/receivers coach. Miles was a Michigan assistant from 1987-94.

Cameron left Michigan to serve as quarterbacks coach for the Washington Redskins for three seasons before becoming head coach at Indiana from 1997-2001, where he went 18-37. Cameron was succeeded at Indiana by former LSU coach Gerry DiNardo.

A native of Chapel Hill, N.C., Cameron was a two-sport athlete at Indiana, playing football for two years (one under Lee Corso) and basketball for two years under Bobby Knight.