DAVE ARANDA BIOGRAPHY
A 2020 National Champion and 25-year coaching veteran, Dave Aranda was named the 28th head coach in Baylor Football history on Jan. 16, 2020.
Aranda (uh-RAN-duh) came to Waco after four seasons as associate head coach and defensive coordinator at LSU, including a 2020 National Championship and a 2019 SEC Championship. Widely considered one of the top defensive minds in all of football, Aranda has a track record of producing NFL-ready players.
In his first season at Baylor, Aranda’s program featured his first player earning All-America honors with Trestan Ebner being selected to four different All-America teams. Additionally, Ebner was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Year and nine players were selected to the All-Big 12 team highlighted by first-team defensive back Jalen Pitre.
In six seasons as a defensive coordinator at a Power 5 Conference school, Aranda’s defenses ranked in the Top 12 nationally in total yards five times. His defenses also ranked among the top 10 in scoring four of his final seven years. Since taking over as the defensive coordinator at Utah State in 2014 through his final season at LSU in 2019, Aranda’s defenses allowed a touchdown or less in 48 of 108 games.
Over LSU’s final five games of the 2019 season, including the SEC Championship and College Football Playoff, the Tigers allowed only 18 ppg with wins over No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Oklahoma, No. 4 Georgia, Texas A&M and Arkansas. In that stretch, the Tigers’ defense allowed only 295.0 yards per game and intercepted six passes.
In his four years as defensive coordinator with the Tigers from 2016-19, Aranda had 18 of his players selected in the NFL Draft, including first round picks K’Lavon Chaisson (2020), Patrick Queen (2020), Devin White (2019), Tre’Davious White (2017) and Jamal Adams (2017). In addition to the draft picks, eight more of Aranda’s LSU defenders have made NFL rosters as free agents. From 2010-15, Aranda had six defenders drafted from stops at Hawai’i, Utah State and Wisconsin.
During his stay at LSU, the Tigers increased their win total each season and produced a 42-11 overall mark. Seven players earned first team All-America and 11 achieved first team All-SEC status under Aranda. All-America honorees include first team selections Derek Stingley, Jr. (2019), Grant Delpit (2018-19), Devin White (2018), Greedy Williams (2018), Tre’Davious White (2016) and Jamal Adams (2016).
Led by 2019 Thorpe Award winner Delpit, LSU’s defense ranked No. 2 in the SEC in sacks (37.0), tackles for loss (96.0) and turnover margin (+10) while completing a perfect 15-0 record. The Tigers ranked No. 6 nationally and led the SEC allowing third down conversions only 29.6 percent of the time. LSU’s 17 interceptions ranked No. 5 in the nation and led the SEC.
Aranda pupil Jacob Phillips was the 2019 SEC leader with 113 tackles, the second consecutive season an LSU linebacker led the league in stops following Devin White in 2018.
White, a player Aranda groomed for three years, became LSU’s first Butkus Award winner in 2018. He capped his LSU career by earning consensus All-America honors on his way to becoming the highest drafted linebacker in school history.
Under Aranda’s direction from 2016-19, LSU ranked in the top five in most defensive categories in the SEC. The Tigers led the SEC in interceptions from 2018-19, along with ranking in the top three in rushing defense and sacks three times between 2016-19. His defensive unit has also ranked in the top five in passing defense and total defense in three of those four seasons, along with top four in scoring defense twice in that period.
In his first two seasons in Baton Rouge, Aranda’s defense allowed a mere 20 passing touchdowns, with the 11 allowed in 2017 tying for fifth nationally. In his first season in 2016, LSU’s defense had one of its best-ever performances as the unit finished the season ranked among the top three in the SEC in four major defensive categories, a feat not accomplished since 2006. It allowed the fewest total touchdowns (16) nationally and fewest touchdowns per game (1.3). The defense ranked fifth nationally in scoring with 15.8 points allowed per game and 10th in total yards allowed (314.4 yards per game). The Tigers held nine of 12 opponents to one touchdown or less and only one opponent scored more than two offensive touchdowns. Individually, linebacker Arden Key broke the school record for sacks in a season with 12.
Prior to joining LSU, Aranda served as defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, where he led a Badgers unit that in a combined three-year span, ranked in the top five in the nation in the four major defensive categories – scoring, total yards, passing yards and rushing yards.
From 2013-15, Aranda’s defense at Wisconsin allowed an average of 289.4 yards per game – which ranked first in the nation over that span. His defense allowed 16.9 points (No. 2 nationally), 179.9 passing yards (No. 3 nationally) and 109.6 rushing yards (No. 4 nationally) over the three years, a stretch that saw Wisconsin post a 30-10 record, reach the Big Ten title game in 2014 and play in two New Year’s Day bowl games.
Aranda’s 2015 defense capped the regular season leading the nation in points allowed at 13.1 points a contest. Wisconsin ranked No. 3 in the nation in total defense (268.5 yards per game), No. 4 in rushing defense (95.4 yards per game) and No. 7 in passing defense (173.2 yards per game).
Aranda spent the 2012 as defensive coordinator at Utah State where he helped the Aggies to a school record 11 wins. He oversaw an Aggies defense that ranked No. 7 in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 15.4 points per game.
In addition to scoring defense, Utah State also ranked among the top 15 nationally in sacks (eighth), pass efficiency defense (10th), rush defense (12th) and total defense (15th). The Aggies finished No. 3 nationally in red zone scoring defense (63.6 percent).
Aranda spent four years at Hawai’i from 2008-11, the last two as the Warriors’ defensive coordinator after coaching the defensive line his first two seasons. During the 2011 season at Hawai’i, Aranda’s defense led the Western Athletic Conference and was tied for 15th in the FBS in sacks with 35.
In 2010, Aranda’s Hawai’i defense led the nation in turnovers caused (38), while ranking second in the nation in interceptions (23) and ninth in fumbles recovered (15), as well as tying the school record for most defensive touchdowns with five.
Prior to Hawai’i, Aranda coached at Delta State University in 2007, where he served as co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach. Following the season, he spent one month as defensive coordinator at Southern Utah before being asked to join the Hawai’i staff.
In one year at Delta State, Aranda helped the school win the Gulf South Conference and lead NCAA Division II in pass efficiency defense, ranking second in total and scoring defense, and third in run defense.
Before Delta State, Aranda spent two years as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at his alma mater, California Lutheran, where the Kingsmen led the conference in scoring defense and total defense. It was his second go-around with California Lutheran after serving as an assistant from 1996-99, while finishing his degree.
Aranda spent five seasons in the state of Texas including a stint as linebackers coach at Houston (2003-04) and as a graduate assistant at Texas Tech (2000-02).
After he graduated from Redlands High School in California in 1994, numerous surgeries followed and ended his playing career. In 1995, he started his coaching resume at Redlands as an assistant coach. Aranda graduated from California Lutheran in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy. In 2002, he earned his master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies at Texas Tech.
Aranda and his wife, Dione, have two daughters, Jaelyn and Jordyn, and a son, Ronin.
THE ARANDA FILE
Birthdate: Sept. 29, 1976
Hometown: Redlands, Calif.
Family: Wife: Dione; Children: Jaelyn, Jordyn, Ronin
High School: Redlands High School (1994)
College: California Lutheran (1999)
Texas Tech (2002)
1995 Redlands (Calif.) High School (defensive coordinator/linebackers/offensive line)
1996-99 California Lutheran (linebackers)
2000-02 Texas Tech (graduate assistant)
2003-04 Houston (linebackers)
2005-06 California Lutheran (defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2007 Delta State (co-defensive coordinator/secondary)
2008-11 Hawai’i (defensive line, 2008-09; defensive coordinator, 2010-11)
2012 Utah State (defensive coordinator)
2013-15 Wisconsin (defensive coordinator/inside linebackers)
2016-19 LSU (associate head coach/defensive coordinator/linebackers)
2020- Baylor (head coach)
AUDIO COURTESY OF THE SUGAR BOWL
BIO COURTESY OF BAYLOR ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS