Ferriday native Daryl Daye is very high on newly-named LSU defensive coordinator Daronte Jones.
That's because Jones was Nicholls State's safeties coach when Daye was head coach of the Colonels in 2002.
"Daronte was really good, very thorough," Daye said. "He was a young coach, but we gave him a lot of responsibility. He was able to allow Charles Kelly (now Alabama defensive coordinator) to be defensive coordinator and coach cornerbacks. I watched him get better every year. He presents himself well to people. His defense will be very aggressive and the sky is the limit for him. He will motivate the kids a lot better than they were last year."
Jones gave a shoutout to Daye at his press conference as LSU's new defensive coordinator.
Jones, who coached with former LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda for one season at Wisconsin in 2015, spent the past five years in the NFL, most recently as the defensive backs coach for the Minnesota Vikings. His other NFL stops have come with the Cincinnati Bengals and the Miami Dolphins.
Jones joined the Vikings after two years coaching the secondary for the Cincinnati Bengals (2018-19) and two years as assistant defensive backs coach with the Miami Dolphins (2016-17).
Daye, a linebacker who walked on at LSU after competing at Huntington School in Ferriday, earning a scholarship, said it was tough watching LSU go 5-5 last season after winning it all in 2019.
"I think all of us struggled with that," Daye said. "I think if you flipped it back to being normal they would have had a very good year. They had so many players out for different reason that you never knew who was going to play. I hope everything gets back to normal I know how it is when nobody is in the stands. When we first got to Nicholls we were 116 out of 118 in attendance. We had about 500 in attendance. We were able to make checks on defense from the sideline with no problem. But we moved up to 45th the next year."
Daye resigned as defensive line and special teams coach at East Tennessee State after the 2019 season.
Daye returned to Thibodaux last year where his wife Kathy is general manager of LaTour Golf Club, a prestigious golf course located 18 miles from Thibodaux in Mathews.
The Louisiana Golf Commission added the course to the nationally recognized trail. As a member of the trail, LaTour Golf Club is part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for Golf Courses, a program dedicated to protecting the environment and preserving the heritage of the game of golf.
"That is an awesome course," Daye said. "And Kathy also sells real estate with it. She followed me for 30 years and deserves this. She is having a good time overseeing that course."
But Daye hasn't ruled out coaching again.
"I could help out a high school team or whatever is out there," he said. "I certainly do not feel I'm done with coaching."
As if coaching and motivating weren't already strong points for Daye, he certainly knows how to build a staff.
When he began his tenure at Nicholls State, Daye had two future Colonel head coaches on his staff (Jay Thomas and Tim Rebowe).
Other coaches who served for Daye besides Kelly, Jones and Joseph were Pittsburgh Steelers defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, East Carolina cornerbacks coach Jonathan Terrell and USM defensive line coach Chris Boone.
Daye dealt with COVID-19 for 30 days.
"I didn't want to do anything," he said. "I lost 35 pounds."