Auburn Tigers news: Charles Kelly hired, Tigers hoops wins big

The Auburn Tigers ended the year on several high notes, though AU's bowl game didn't go as planned.

Oregon State v Colorado
Oregon State v Colorado / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages
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The Auburn Tigers got two wins and had one glaring loss round out the 2023 calendar year, which saw strides in several areas of the football and basketball programs in recruiting despite lackluster results on the field, and to a far lesser extent, the hardwood.

Hugh Freeze was able to poach a proud Auburn grad from Coach Prime's Colorado staff, while Bruce Pearl's basketball team did some home cooking.

Oh, and there was a bowl game in Nashville that didn't exactly bring the holiday spirit to Tiger fans who made the trip to the Music City...

Charles Kelly hired as Auburn Tigers staffer

By far the biggest win of 2023's final weekend was the hiring of Charles Kelly, Nick Saban's former right-hand man and one of the great recruiters on the defensive side of the ball in the sport, mere hours before AU's 31-13 loss to Maryland in the Music City Bowl.

As On3's Justin Hokanson relayed, Kelly wanted to be Freeze's defensive coordinator after his hiring in November 2022 before settling on being Coach Prime's in Boulder.

"Kelly is an Auburn alum who very much wanted the DC position last year and had support for the position before Hugh Freeze went with Ron Roberts," Hokanson prefaced before saying, "Kelly would have taken the DC position at Auburn over Colorado, and now he's finally back after being a GA in 1993."

Better late than never for Kelly, who returns to his native Alabama in 2024.

Auburn basketball wins big against Chattanooga

Pearl's Auburn Tigers saved the day on December 30 following a disappointing outing for the football team with a spectacular 101-66 spread-covering victory -- and by that I mean any conceivable spread one could've bet on -- over Chattanooga.

The win runs AU's streak to five and improves the Tigers to 10-2 on the year. While it didn't show us much more than what we already knew about Pearl's deep squad, it did prove that a top-25 ranking is more than deserved.