As the LSU Tigers were preparing for the playoff game against the Oklahoma Sooners, they were shocked and saddened to learn that sports reporter Carley McCord had passed away in a plane crash. Weeks later, the team set out to honor her memory during the College Football Playoffs National Championship. LSU declared that they would be playing to win for McCord.
This information was provided during a video that described the late reporter's relationship with the team and the manner in which they became aware of her passing. The offensive coordinator of the Tigers, Steve Ensminger, was McCord's father-in-law, and he was informed of her passing on the morning of a massive game against Oklahoma.
The nation became aware of the tragic accident moments prior to the December playoff game, but the LSU coaching staff heard the news roughly four hours prior to kickoff. Instead of getting on a plane to head home, Ensminger sat down with LSU's head coach and delivered a very direct message.
LSU Tigers playing to win for Carley McCord, via feature producer Jon Fish and reporter Tom Rinaldi.https://t.co/yRPS9pXrA3— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 14, 2020
"Here's exactly what he [Ensminger] told me," head coach Ed Orgeron said. "He looked me dead in the eye and said, 'coach, we are going to get through this.'"
The video showed the numerous jobs that McCord held during her time working as a sports reporter in New Orleans. She was seen on the sidelines during Saints games, on the court to cover the Pelicans, and she was heavily involved with the LSU program.
The love of the Tigers was so inherent in McCord's life that she and Steven Ensminger Jr. actually held their rehearsal dinner at the LSU stadium. The families officially joined together in January 2018, and McCord became a permanent member of the family.
There were many that expected Ensminger to step away from LSU after the tragic wreck, but he continued to coach. The reason for this decision, as explained by multiple figures interviewed, is that McCord would have wanted him to do his job. He had a responsibility to lead this team to the Promised Land, and it would be honoring his daughter-in-law's memory if he achieved this feat.0comments
The LSU Tigers entered Monday's game with this mindset and built up an early lead over the Clemson Tigers. They had the goal of winning the game for McCord, and they did not disappoint during the first three quarters.
(Photo Credit: Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)