Auburn's coordinator search is finally over.
The school announced Sunday night that former Temple offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler has been hired to replace Gus Malzahn as the Tigers' offensive coordinator. Malzahn left after the Chick-fil-A Bowl to become the head coach at Arkansas State.
Loeffler brings 14 years of coaching experience on the collegiate and NFL levels to Auburn's coaching staff. While directing Temple's offense in 2011, the Owls' offense ranked seventh nationally in rushing (256.5 yards per game) and 39th in scoring (30.6).
While Temple excelled at running the ball under Loeffler's guidance, he does have a lot of experience working with quarterbacks that have gone on to play in the NFL, including Tom Brady, Tim Tebow, Brian Griese, Chad Henne, Drew Henson and John Navarre.
“Scot is a rising star who has worked with some very good quarterbacks, and has achieved a tremendous amount of success,” Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. “He is a tireless worker, is an outstanding recruiter and knows the rigors of competing in this conference. We’re very excited to have Scot join our staff, and we welcome him to the Auburn family.”
Loeffler, who is a Michigan graduate, gained experience in the SEC while serving as Florida's quarterbacks coach in 2009 and 2010. In 2009, Florida's quarterbacks, headed by former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, led the nation in passing efficiency (167.3) and passed for 3,305 yards, 28 touchdowns and five interceptions. Florida also ranked second in the SEC in passing offense (236.1).
I interacted with Loeffler a few times during his two years at Florida, and he certainly seemed like a man who knows what he was talking about. He probably has more pro-style ideals when it comes to running an offense, so this might be his chance to get out of the spread mindset that he's had since his time with the Gators.
He'll also have the job of improving Auburn's quarterback play. The Tigers were wildly inconsistent at the position last season, and finished the season ranking 100th nationally in total offense (337.8). Seven-game starter Barrett Trotter, who graduated, decided not to return to Auburn, leaving Loeffler with rising junior Clint Moseley and rising sophomore Kiehl Frazier as the only quarterbacks with any experience.
Moseley took over for Trotter midway through the season, but struggled to get the Tigers' offense going, passing for 800 yards and five touchdowns, with three interceptions. Frazier came in more for running situations throughout the season and only attempted 12 passes, tossing two interceptions in the process.
Loeffler will also be without star running back Michael Dyer, who left with Malzahn for Arkansas State, but Auburn does have a lot of young talent to work with. If Loeffler is making the switch to a more pro-style offense, there will no doubt be some hiccups along the way, but those are common with coaching changes. Implementing the system he wants should be his first priority.
“Auburn is one of the special jobs and special places in college athletics, with a tremendous amount of history and tradition. It’s an honor to be joining coach Chizik’s staff, and I’m very appreciative of this opportunity," Loeffler said.