Auburn Football: Coaching Staff Updates, Rumors and Speculation

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Oct 4, 2014; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn congratulates his players after LSU turned the ball over on downs during the second half at Jordan Hare Stadium. Auburn beat LSU 41-7. Mandatory Credit: John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Line

The most likely defensive coach to be retained is defensive line coach Rodney Garner, who is also the recruiting coordinator. Still, even Garner’s job isn’t guaranteed.

The Tigers struggled to consistently rush the passer this season and registered only 20 sacks overall, plus there were some poor performances stopping the run as well. Auburn surrendered 223 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground to Mississippi Statein a 38-23 loss, allowed 289 yards and three scores to Georgia in a 34-7 loss and Alabama ran for 227 yards and four TDs.

Should Garner leave, the first name that comes to mind for many Auburn football fans as a replacement is former Tigers star and assistant, and current Georgia defensive line coach, Tracy Rocker. The former All-American was the defensive line coach at Auburn from 2009-11 while Malzahn was the offensive coordinator, so there would be familiarity there. He has not worked with Muschamp, but that doesn’t appear to be a prerequisite at this time, anyway.

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  • Of course, someone like Brad Lawing, who was Muschamp’s D-Line coach last season with the Gators, could be a candidate as well.

    In all likelihood, we won’t know who will and who won’t be a member of the Auburn football coaching staff until after the Outback Bowl. We might not even know the final makeup of the staff until after National Signing Day, and as we’ve learned through the Bobby Petrinos and Joker Phillips’ of the world, something completely unexpected could happen as late as the spring or summer.

    In my own estimation, I think (as reported elsewhere) Robinson will return to Auburn to coach the secondary and Garner will be retained.

    I believe Malzahn and Muschamp will hire a linebackers coach that is either relatively unknown, or a castoff from another SEC or Power 5 conference staff that is undergoing a coaching change. At this point, it’s very difficult to speculate on a specific name.

    In that scenario, Garner would continue to coach the entire defensive line, and Robinson would handle all four secondary positions, with Muschamp acting more as a “walk-around” defensive coordinator than a position coach and coordinator.

    The picture should become clearer in the days following the Outback Bowl and the Birmingham Bowl, and we’ll be sure to update you with any new information and insight as it becomes available.

    Next: Previews & Predictions For Every 2014-15 Bowl Game

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