Over and above the fact that Auburn coach Gene Chizik put together a good staff is the fact that he’s been able to keep that staff together.
In fact, it’s the only staff in the SEC that hasn’t had any turnover in the last two years. The same nine assistant coaches Chizik hired heading into the 2009 season are still with him.
But that’s not to say there haven’t been some close calls. In fact, there could be a decision looming in the very near future.
New Tennessee Titans coach Mike Munchak is interested in hiring Tracy Rocker as his defensive line coach. Munchak said on WJOX radio in Birmingham on Wednesday that he’s already talked to Rocker and that Rocker would “be a great fit for any organization.”
When you look back on the development of 2010 Lombardi Award winner Nick Fairley, it’s easy to see why NFL clubs are coming after Rocker, who’s made three different SEC stops (Arkansas, Ole Miss and Auburn) as an assistant and also served as an intern with the Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
It also never hurts when a coach was a great player. Rocker won both the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award at Auburn in 1988 and was later inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
We’ll see if Chizik can keep his guys together. So far, so good.
Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn had a chance to go to Vanderbilt and be the Commodores’ head coach, but passed on a deal that would have paid him approaching $3 million per year. Malzahn got a raise at Auburn that will take him to $1.3 million annually.
Texas came after offensive line coach Jeff Grimes, but he also elected to stay put.
Now all eyes are on Rocker.