LSU Gold

Kelly Promotes Sloan, Hankton; Nagle Added to Football Staff

by Michael Bonnette
Kelly Promotes Sloan, Hankton; Nagle Added to Football Staff

BATON ROUGE – Joe Sloan has been named LSU’s offensive coordinator, while Cortez Hankton will serve as co-offensive coordinator, head coach Brian Kelly announced on Wednesday.

Kelly also announced that Slade Nagle is joining the LSU coaching staff and will handle special teams and coach the tight ends.

“Joe did an outstanding job developing Jayden Daniels over the past two years into a Heisman Trophy winner,” Kelly said. “His experience here and at Louisiana Tech makes him a valuable recruiter who is well connected in the state. Joe is ready to work alongside a talented offensive staff and continue to operate an elite offensive system.”

Kelly said Hankton will take on the day-to-day implementation and organization of the offense while still serving in his capacity as wide receiver coach.

“Cortez’s development of Malik and Brian into likely first round NFL Draft picks goes to his expertise of coaching wide receivers,” Kelly said. “Cortez continues to be a tremendous asset for us in recruiting. I’m excited about the leadership and the direction of the LSU offense heading into the 2024 season.”

Sloan and Hankton were both instrumental in LSU’s offensive explosion in 2023 as the Tigers led the nation in scoring offense (45.5), total offense (543.5) and pass efficiency. The Tigers scored 40 or more points nine times and LSU had nine games in which they reached 500 yards of offense with a season-high of 701 in the win over Florida.

LSU was the only FBS team to rank in the Top 10 in both rushing and passing offense, averaging 338.9 yards (No. 3) through the air and 204.5 yards (No. 10) on the ground.

They served as co-offensive coordinators for LSU’s ReliaQuest Bowl win over Wisconsin. In that game with first-time starter Garrett Nussmeier at quarterback, the Tigers racked up 492 total yards, including 395 through the air, in the 35-31 victory.

Sloan and Hankton are both in their third year at LSU as they were among the first hires for Kelly when he took over the program in December of 2021.

As the quarterback coach for the past two years, Sloan’s impact on Jayden Daniels’ development resulted in him winning the 2023 Heisman Trophy. Daniels was also named the winner of the Davey O’Brien and Manning Awards as well as being the AP, Walter Camp and Sporting News National Player of the Year.

Daniels’ play was nearly flawless as a senior, leading the nation in total offense (412.2), pass efficiency (208.0), points responsible for per game (25.2), yards per rush (8.4), and rushing yards by a quarterback (1,134). Daniels became one of only five players in SEC history to account for 50 touchdowns in a season and he set the all-time FBS mark for pass efficiency, completing 236-of-327 passes for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and only four interceptions.

Hankton’s wide receiver group produced college football’s top tandem in 2023 as Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas combined to catch 157 passes for 2,746 yards and 31 touchdowns. Nabers, a unanimous consensus All-America, led the nation in receiving yards per game (120.7), while Thomas, a third-team All-America led the country in receiving TDs with 17.

Nabers capped his LSU career as the school’s all-time leader in both receptions (189) and receiving yards (3,004). He joined Josh Reed as the only players in program history with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

LSU’s other top receivers in 2023 included Kyren Lacy and Chris Hilton. Lacy caught 30 passes for 558 yards and seven touchdowns, while Hilton had 13 receptions for 225 yards and a pair of TDs.

Nagle joins the Tigers after eight seasons where he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Green Wave in 2023. Nagle coached the Tulane tight ends the first seven years he was with the Green Wave. He capped his time with Tulane as the interim head coach for the Green Wave’s 2023 bowl game against Virginia Tech.

Nagle, a native of Lake Charles and a graduate of McNeese, previously served on the LSU coaching staff in 2009 when he worked with the special teams. Nagle’s dad, John Nagle, was a three-year letterwinner for the Tigers from 1969-71.

“Slade brings a winning and an experienced collegiate resume to our staff,” Kelly said. “Whether calling plays or coaching tight ends, quarterbacks or special teams, Slade has excelled at all levels. A native of Louisiana, he has a great recruiting knowledge of the state and is known for developing his position group. We are excited about Slade becoming a member of the Tiger Staff.”

In 2023, Tulane reached the championship game of the American Athletic Conference and posted an 11-3 mark. The Green Wave won the AAC title in 2022 and then went on to beat Southern Cal in the Cotton Bowl, 46-45, as they tied the school-record for wins in a season with 12.

Nagle has had other coaching stops at McNeese (2012-15), Central Arkansas (2011), Texas State (2010), Northwestern State (2006-09) and Dodge City Community College (2004-05).