Auburn football CB coach on fellow DB coach: ‘He’s going to be a household name’

Auburn football cornerbacks coach Wesley McGriff sees fellow defensive back coach Zac Etheridge, who oversees safeties, as someone who will one day become a household name in the coaching world.

“Keep an eye on him, now,” McGriff told reporters during a March 15 press conference (h/t “He’s going to be rock star; he’s going to be a household name. People always refer to him as a recruiter — and he does a great job recruiting — but that young man is also a great football coach.”

McGriff was unrelenting in his prediction Etheridge would be a coaching great — and he told reporters he is blessed to be part of his come-up. “I’m telling you: His career is definitely going to take off, and Auburn is blessed to have him in the building, and I’m blessed to be around him,” McGriff said. “I’ve been doing this a long time, but when you have an opportunity to do it with a young man like that, chalk it up because it’s fun.”

Several future head coaches are on Hugh Freeze’s Auburn football staff

Are the 2023 Tigers going to have the same number of future head coaches as the vaunted 2015 Alabama coaching staff? Perhaps that’s a stretch, since Nick Saban, Kirby Smart, Lane Kiffin, Mario Cristobal, Mel Tucker, Billy Napier, and Dan Lanning is a who’s who of current Power Five coaches. Still, there’s very likely several future head coaches under Hugh Freeze at the moment.

Etheridge, per McGriff, is a bona fide future coaching star. Carnell “Cadillac” Williams is likely due to be hired someday after leading Auburn football out of the darkness that was Bryan Harsin’s final days on the Plains. Philip Montgomery is one major Robby Ashford (or TJ Finley/Holden Geriner) campaign away from becoming a head coach again. Ron Roberts could be the next great defensive coordinator to take the reigns of a Power Five program in the vein of a Smart or a Lanning.

It’s not clear who will take off after working for Freeze in 2023, but it’s a safe bet that at least one assistant will lead a program one day.