How LSU defensive coordinator Daronte Jones honed his coaching skills while teaching in high school

Prior to an extremely successful coaching career at the college and NFL level, Daronte Jones served as defensive coordinator for Franklin High School in Louisiana in 2003 and Jeanerette High School in 2004.

As a high school coach, not only was it his job to coach the defenses, but also the students in the classroom. It was being a high school teacher that really helped Jones embrace a coaching philosophy and a way of connecting with each of his players through multiple teaching styles, helping them execute all the little nuances. that accompany the success of a defensive player.

Jones realized early on from the students he taught in the classroom that everyone learns differently. Some students are visual learners while others can learn through a hands-on approach. When school was out and training started, Jones took a very similar approach with his high school players.

“Some players learn best by watching a movie, some players learn best in walkthroughs, some players actually have to do it multiple times to get it,” Jones said on off the bench Friday. “So when you install a defense, you want to incorporate all types of learning styles.”

It was teaching high school and high school football in Louisiana where Jones really learned the importance of lesson planning and that will play a big role in LSU’s return to training on the defensive side of the ball in 2021.

“How to present the material to students and how it incorporates each student’s learning style,” Jones said. “Teaching helped me transition into football and coaching.”

During the 2020 season, it was easy to see that the players just couldn’t understand what was being asked of them sometimes. Breakdowns in secondary or burst coverage in midfield led to far too many explosive plays.

These are the types of plays and misunderstandings that Jones and these new defensive staff will look to avoid this offseason, as coaches really break down what each player does extremely well and build a pattern that matches those strengths.

“What our guys do best is what we’re going to try and present and at the end of the day 4-3, 3-4, those are just numbers,” Jones said. “You always have to have some integrity in the gaps, but our goal is just to put guys in the best position we think is appropriate for them to perform.”