Aranda set to make Baylor head-coaching debut in abnormal time
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - It’s already a significant adjustment to coach in a new place.
For Dave Aranda, he’ll making his head-coaching debut Saturday for Baylor against Louisiana Tech not only at a university he’s never coached full-time, but in a year COVID-19 wreaked havoc on every sporting event.
“Typically, you’re right off the bat with spring ball and you’re kind of catching up with getting to know your people in the summertime, and this has been the opposite of that,” Aranda said. “I appreciate that, (and) I appreciate our people allowing themselves to get opened up and share. All of it has been really good. I wouldn’t want to trade spots with anybody.”
Aranda, who spent the past four seasons on the LSU coaching staff, takes over a Baylor program that went 11-3 in 2019 under Matt Rhule, who was hired as the Carolina Panthers’ head coach.
If Aranda can continue a similar victorious trend in 2020, he would join Jim Grobe (7-6) as the only first-year Baylor head coaches to post a winning record dating back to 1959.
He was considered a premium coaching candidate in the offseason. So are there any butterflies or early nerves to prove that Baylor Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades made the right choice?
“I don’t think so. I go back to the first time I was coordinating at Hawaii to the first time I was coordinating at Wisconsin to my first game at LSU,” Aranda said. “I haven’t had any yet. You get so locked into your preparation and task at hand that some of that stuff doesn’t hit you as much. At least that’s been the history. I imagine this is going to be like that.”
Baylor and Louisiana Tech kick off in front of a 25% capacity crowd at McLane Stadium Saturday at 11 a.m.
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