NEW ORLEANS — Sitting in a wheelchair outside the LSU locker room Monday night, Cornelia “Coco” Orgeron waited patiently to see the man of the hour – her son, Ed, the head coach of LSU.

It was going to be a long wait. Cigars were being passed around the loud steamy room inside after LSU won the College Football Playoff national championship by beating  Clemson, 42-25.

Ed was giving a speech to the team:

“It was hard to hear him,” LSU center Lloyd Cushenberry said.

But the message was pretty simple, according to Cushenberry. Orgeron told them they had earned all of this after starting offseason training nearly a year ago. He said all that work paid off. He also told his players just how proud he was of them.

 “We are so blessed to have him as a coach,” Cushenberry said.

After everything that’s happened – including his battles with alcohol more than 20 years ago and then his firing at Ole Miss in 2007 – this was his big moment: the Louisiana son who led LSU (15-0) to arguably its greatest season ever, with a season-ending win in the Superdome just 80 miles down…