LAROSE: A town small on ego, but big on love for Coach O

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LAROSE, La. (WAFB) - “This is where he was raised, right here in Larose,” one man says.

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron walks on the field before an NCAA college football game against Texas A&M in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. | Source: AP Photo / Gerald Herbert

Take a ride into Ed Orgeron’s hometown and you’ll meet people who aren’t interested in trying to impress you with what kind of car they drive, or what kind of clothes they wear, or what country club they’re a member of. But forgive these folks if they name drop a little bit. It's a community short on ego, but big on Coach O.

“Everybody’s proud of him. I mean he came from here,” a Larose firefighter says.

“I think he’s the best thing to happen to LSU in a long time,” a local diehard LSU at D&D Drive Inn says. “He’s a big, BIG hero down here,” says a woman at the same restaurant.

“Best of the best right here. Go TIGERS,” Oregeron’s cousin roars. Like many Louisiana natives, those in Larose have heard what people outside the state can sometimes say about them.

“You guys talk funny. We can’t understand you.”

Well, when it comes to Coach O, the locals don't care what outsiders think.

“That’s the accent. We can understand him," the firefighter says.

“A lot of people make fun of him,” the man in the diner says.

“Some of them still try to make out what he is saying, but we know what it is,” the woman in the diner says.

Coach O’s aunt, 78-year-old Elaine Orgeron Gisclair, is the sister of the original Bebe, Ed’s father, Ed Orgeron senior. Gisclair's home is connected to the snowball stand she owns and operates.

“I have been selling snowballs all my life. Since I was eight years old,” she explains.

Over the year’s she’s watched that little Cajun tater tot grow into the leader of Louisiana’s college football powerhouse. The only thing missing is if Orgeron’s father who passed away in 2011 was still here to see his son do big things with the purple & gold.

“Oh my god, it would be awesome! It’s a shame that he’s not here,” Gisclair says.

But Ed Orgeron will continue to carry his father with him, and Tiger fans hope that means an SEC championship this weekend. And then eventually, the national championship, just down the road in New Orleans.

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