Auburn Football: Will Muschamp Officially Hired as New Defensive Coordinator


After weeks of rumors and speculation, it’s (almost) finally over.

Will Muschamp is on the verge of becoming the new defensive coordinator of the Auburn football team, according to a report from AuburnUndercover’s Phillip Marshall ($).

"An announcement could come before the weekend is over that Will Muschamp will join Gus Malzahn’s staff as defensive coordinator."

Sports Illustrated has also reported the hire. 

“I’m excited to welcome Will back to Auburn as our new defensive coordinator,” head coach Gus Malzahn said in a statement released by the university. “Will is a one of the top defensive mind in college football who has great passion and energy for the game. He is a tremendous addition to our staff.”

Muschamp will return to Auburn for a third time. It is also expected that Travaris Robinson, Muschamp’s defensive backs coach at Florida and an All-SEC safety at Auburn, will be coming back as well.

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Muschamp was a graduate assistant for the Tigers under Terry Bowden in 1995 and 1996 before one-year stints at West Georgia, Eastern Kentucky and Valdosta State. In 2001, Muschamp joined Nick Saban’s staff at LSU as linebackers coach and was named defensive coordinator one year later.

Following a season with Saban on the Miami Dolphins coaching staff, Muschamp returned to Auburn as defensive coordinator in 2006 under Tommy Tuberville. After the 2007 season, he left to become the DC and head coach in waiting at Texas, but took the head gig at Florida in 2011 instead.

Obviously, things did not work out for Muschamp in Gainesville, and he was fired this season following an overtime loss to South Carolina. He finished with a 28-21 record as the head coach of the Gators.

Interestingly enough, the Gamecocks emerged as one of the most likely landing spots for Coach Boom in the ongoing Muschamp Watch saga. When head coach Steve Spurrier said he planned to coach two or three more years before retiring, it led to much speculation that Muschamp would be a prime candidate to replace him. Therefore, a head coach in waiting position seemed possible.

However, Spurrier denied the rumors and reports, and for good reason: he’s got a full staff, including defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward.

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  • Muschamp had interest from others as well, most recently the Houston Cougars. Rumors circulated Thursday that UH and Muschamp had shown mutual interest, and a report from the Houston Chronicle surfaced Friday morning that Coach Boom had interviewed for the vacant head coaching position.

    As decision day came into focus, it appeared Houston and Auburn were the final two options.

    Now, Will Muschamp is charged with turning around an underperforming Tigers defense that has allowed 31 points or more in each of its last six games against SEC opponents. A 55-44 loss to Alabama in the Iron Bowl was apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back for Ellis Johnson, who was fired the following day.

    “My family, Carol, Jackson, Whit, and I are excited about coming back to Auburn and I look forward to working with Coach Malzahn to win championships,” Muschamp said.

    Early indication was that Muschamp was head coach Gus Malzahn’s top choice to become the new defensive coordinator, but the long process of hiring him left many Auburn football fans very nervous.

    Finally, everyone can relax. Except Muschamp. It’s time for him to get to work.

    Next: Outback Bowl Q&A With Badger of Honor

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