Update: Will Travaris Robinson Join the Auburn Football Coaching Staff?


Last week, we cited multiple sources that indicated former Auburn football player Travaris Robinson, who has spent the last four seasons coaching defensive backs at Florida, planned to return to the Tigers’ coaching staff. In doing so, he would reunite with former Gators head coach Will Muschamp, who was hired last week as defensive coordinator.

However, the Gainesville Sun reported Wednesday that Robinson has not made a decision.

He’s been offered a spot on new head coach Jim McElWain’s staff, and he’s continued recruiting for the Gators.

T-Rob will meet with new Gators defensive coordinator Geoff Collins – recently hired away from Mississippi State – and will evaluate several factors, including the direction of the defensive scheme, the other coaches McElwain plans to hire and their roles on Collins’ defensive staff.

Nov 1, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson against the Georgia Bulldogs at EverBank Field. Florida Gators defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 38-20. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Of course, Muschamp’s return to the Plains is expected to play a major role in Robinson’s decision. After his playing days were over, Robinson was a graduate assistant at Auburn while Muschamp served a prior stint as defensive coordinator. Also, Robinson worked under Coach Boom in each of the last four seasons in Gainesville.

It seems like a natural fit, right? But there’s more to it.

According to the Sun’s report, money isn’t likely to factor in to Robinson’s decision because he would be expected to make around the same $510,000 salary he had last season, or just slightly more, in either position. He is a native of the Sunshine State and recently became a father, both of which could make it difficult to leave.

Therefore, it appears to be a matter of whether or not T-Rob wants to return to Auburn under Muschamp’s direction, or would prefer to stay where he is with a new staff in place. It’s very possible that Robinson may actually want to get out from Muschamp’s shadow, spread his network, and continue to establish himself as a top-notch recruiter and secondary coach with the Gators.

Reportedly, Robinson has even told recruits and current players that he plans to stay at Florida. But there’s still hope for those that want to see T-Rob back at Auburn.

Without explicitly saying so, junior college defensive back Tony Bridges may have given some insight into the future of the Auburn football coaching staff after he signed with Ole Miss Wednesday.

“(Muschamp) looked at tape of me and said ‘I really need you,’ this and that. I have love for them because they showed me love, so I can’t say nothing bad about them,” Bridges said explaining why he chose the Rebels over Auburn. “That being said, it was too late. I didn’t know which way the defensive coaches, like (cornerbacks coach) Melvin Smith, was he going to be there or not?

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“I think some stuff was going on he hasn’t figured out yet. I haven’t got time going into school doubting.”

Bridges was obviously concerned with whether or not Melvin Smith will be retained for the 2015 season now that Muschamp is in place.

Speculating, it sounds like Bridges got the feeling from Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and Muschamp that Smith was on the way out, which would open a spot for T-Rob.

If Bridges thought Malzahn and Muschamp were noncommittal on Smith’s status, or even let him know that there would be changes of some sort without giving specific details, it may have been enough to solidify his commitment to Ole Miss.

As impatient as we all are to find out who will and will not be coaching at Auburn next season, it’s possible that nothing will happen until after the bowl game. It’s not uncommon for a position coach to help transition a coaching staff (and a recruiting class) after a head coaching change before moving on.

Plus, Malzahn has already proven through Muschamp Watch that he will be patient in his search to build next season’s defensive coaching staff. Right now, I think that’s what’s happening with Robinson.

Things may change, and I could be wrong, but I still expect T-Rob to come back to Auburn.

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