Auburn football: Hugh Freeze confirms staff hires in press conference

Hugh Freeze has confirmed multiple Auburn football hires for his on-field coaching staff -- let's take a look at how each will fit in Mandatory Credit: The Montgomery Advertiser
Hugh Freeze has confirmed multiple Auburn football hires for his on-field coaching staff -- let's take a look at how each will fit in Mandatory Credit: The Montgomery Advertiser /

If the recruiting success of Early Signing Day wasn’t enough, Auburn football staff hires should help. In a press conference to recap Early Signing Day, Freeze confirmed the hires of Montgomery (OC/QB), Cadillac Williams (AHC/RB), Jake Thornton (OL), Ron Roberts (DC), Jeremy Garrett (DL), Josh Aldridge (LB), Zac Etheridge (Safeties), and Wesley “Crime Dawg” McGriff (CB).

While most of these hires had been reported already by other outlets, only Montgomery, Williams, Aigamaua and Roberts had been officially announced.

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Auburn football offensive staff

Philip Montgomery (Off. Coordinator, QBs Coach)

Montgomery, as we wrote last week, is an outstanding fit for Coach Freeze’s vision. High tempo spread attacks are the trend, and Montgomery certainly fits the bill. Auburn shouldn’t be short of big plays in the passing game much longer with this hire.

Cadillac Williams (Assoc. Head Coach, RBs Coach)

Lac is back. We all knew this after Freeze’s introductory press conference, but he confirmed it again today. Cadillac Williams has been hired as the associate head coach and running backs coach. A promotion was in order for Williams after he held the glue together for four games following the firing of Bryan Harsin.

Jake Thornton (Off. Line Coach)

Not only did we still Ole Miss’s offensive line coach, but the recruiting successes have translated to the Plains. Four high school offensive linemen as well as JUCO transfer Izavion Miller should do the trick. This is such a relief after years of inept line play.

Ben Aigamaua (Tight Ends Coach)

One of the three on-field positions filled by Liberty staffers, this is probably the most under-the-radar hire so far. While not the flashy hire, he is a solid tight ends coach who has already gotten a win on the trail by getting FIU transfer Rivaldo Fairweather to commit.

Auburn football defensive staff

Ron Roberts (Def. Coordinator)

In our post about Roberts earlier this week, we mentioned that for every ounce of aggressiveness that Montgomery will bring offense, Roberts will look to match if not exceed that amount. Experienced, hard-nosed, demanding — all things you look for on the less glamorous side of the ball.

Jeremy Garrett (Def. Line Coach)

The second of three on-field positions filled by Freeze’s Liberty assistants, Garrett has experience with the Cleveland Browns and was part of the two-headed hydra that led Liberty to arguably its best season in the front seven.

Josh Aldridge (Linebackers Coach)

The third of three on-field positions filled by Liberty defectors, Aldridge was the other part of that aforementioned two-man team that led Liberty to several impressive stats for the front seven.

Wesley McGriff (Cornerbacks Coach)

Crime Dawg can’t stay away forever. And we are just fine with that. The veteran cornerbacks coach has been everywhere and been successful everywhere. Bringing him back to where he belongs is a huge win for Freeze.

Zac Etheridge (Safeties Coach)

Zac being retained was met with some criticism after the performance of the safeties this season, but his recruiting prowess should make up for that. Getting a Kayin Lee flip from Ohio State is his most recent win.

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The receivers and special teams coaches have not been hired yet, though Freeze has said they are close to having both done. He also said that the special teams coach will coach off the field, allowing for all nine position coaches plus Freeze to be on the field. Montgomery and Roberts will likely call plays from the booth to allow for that.