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BATON ROUGE — One of the best recruiters in LSU football history is returning to LSU as associate head coach.
Frank Wilson, who was LSU’s recruiting coordinator from 2010-15, helped land such future LSU and NFL stars as tailback Leonard Fournette and cornerback Tyrann Mathieu from St. Augustine High in New Orleans as well as wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from Newman High in New Orleans, wide receiver Jarvis Landry of Lutcher High near New Orleans and offensive tackle La’el Collins of Redemptorist High in Baton Rouge.
What position Wilson, 48, will focus on has not been decided yet. He has coached running backs, receivers and special teams during his career. LSU currently has an opening for a receivers coach with Mickey Joseph recently leaving for a receivers coach and passing game coordinator post at Nebraska.
“Frank Wilson has a proven track record of identifying, recruiting, and developing elite student-athletes everywhere he has been,” new LSU coach Brian Kelly said in an LSU release Tuesday as he entered his second week on the job after leaving Notre Dame.
“No one knows the recruiting landscape in Louisiana better than Frank, and his experience and character will be tremendous resources for our staff and student-athletes,” Kelly said. “His impact on our staff at LSU will be immediate and immense. We are thrilled he is returning home to ensure that we continue to sign the best student-athletes in Louisiana and throughout the country.”
The first of two signing dates is just over a week away on Dec. 15. LSU’s class of 2022 has fallen to No. 19 with just 13 commitments.
Kelly will not be coaching LSU (6-6) in the Texas Bowl against Kansas State (7-5) in Houston on Jan. 4 so that he can focus on recruiting and complete his staff hires.
While Wilson was recruiting coordinator under former LSU coach Les Miles, the Tigers had two top 10 recruiting classes — No. 2 in 2014 and No. 5 in 2015. He was named the recruiter of the year by Rivals.com in 2011 and the No. 1 recruiter in 2014 by NFL.com. Scout.com named Wilson SEC recruiter of the year in 2015. He was on Miles’ staff that won the SEC and went undefeated in 2011 at 13-0 before losing the national championship game to Alabama.
Wilson was previously McNeese State’s head coach in 2020 and ’21, and the Cowboys went 3-4 in his first season and 4-7 this past season. He left LSU to become Texas-San Antonio’s coach and turned in seasons of 6-7, 6-5, 3-9 and 4-8 from 2016-19.
“I will forever be grateful to the coaches, staff, and student-athletes I have been fortunate to work with at McNeese State, and I will always remember the lessons I have learned in my six seasons as a head coach,” Wilson said. “But the opportunity to return home to LSU and join Coach Kelly’s staff was one my family and I simply could not pass up. I could not be more excited to return to Baton Rouge and do whatever I can to help the Tigers consistently compete for and win championships.”
Wilson was 26-40 as a head coach.
Prior to LSU, he spent much of his career working with former LSU coach Ed Orgeron. Wilson was the wide receivers coach in 2009 at Tennessee while Orgeron was defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator under head coach Lane Kiffin. He was running backs and special teams coach under Orgeron at Ole Miss from 2005-07 and coached running backs and was recruiting coordinator at Southern Mississippi in 2008.
Wilson, who played at Nicholls State before graduating in 1996, is a New Orleans native who coached in the city at Karr High as an assistant from 1997-99 and as O.P. Walker’s head coach from 2000-03. He was athletic director for New Orleans public schools in 2004.
Overall, Wilson coached or recruited 40 individuals who went on to play in the NFL.