Several former Auburn football coaches, ex-Tigers QB joining Western Kentucky

Auburn Tigers offensive line coach Will Friend  during the A-Day spring practice at Jordan-Hare
Auburn Tigers offensive line coach Will Friend during the A-Day spring practice at Jordan-Hare / Jake Crandall / USA TODAY NETWORK

According to Footballscoop's John Brice, several former Auburn football coaches will be joining Western Kentucky's staff ahead of the 2024 season -- including offensive Will Friend and Joe Bernardi.

"Tyson Helton's won 26 games in his last three seasons atop the Western Kentucky football program, and he's pushing the Hilltoppers to keep moving forward," Brice prefaced before saying, "With that in mind, sources tell FootballScoop that Helton is bolstering his Hilltoppers staff with the addition of college coaching veteran Will Friend. A former Alabama Crimson Tide player who's coached at Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi State and Tennessee in the SEC, Friend will transition onto the WKU staff as the team's offensive coordinator.

"Another coaching veteran, Joe Bernardi, who has stops in the SEC at Auburn and Tennessee, as well as helping Troy to an double-digit win season in 2023, is coming aboard to help the WKU offensive line, sources told FootballScoop."

This is, of course, in addition to former TJ Finley, who announced his Hilltoppers commitment via Instagram.

TJ Finley can go down as Auburn football hero in 2024

Believe it or not, Finley has the chance to become a hero to the Auburn family in 2024 despite being two seasons, and now two teams, removed from the Plains. But in Week 1 of WKU's season, the Hilltoppers will travel to Tuscaloosa to face Kalen DeBoer's Crimson Tide in Alabama's first game post-Nick Saban retirement.

Finley, if you remember, almost upset Alabama in the 2021 Iron Bowl; managing AU to a 10-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. As has become the norm in the post-COVID era at Jordan-Hare, fourth-quarter heartbreak struck.

Perhaps it can strike the Crimson Tide in Week 1 in an upset that'd be akin to when Saban lost to Louisiana-Monroe back during his first season at the helm of Alabama.