SEC: Mississipppi State Bulldogs

Changing addresses within the SEC

January, 22, 2009
1/22/09
9:00
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Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Once you get in this family, there's no getting out.

I keep thinking about that famous line from "The Sopranos" as I watch the assistants in the SEC change addresses within the conference at a dizzying pace.

That's not to mention the former SEC assistants, head coaches and players who have flocked back to the league this year and found their way onto different staffs.

I can't ever remember a year quite like this where jumping from one SEC port to another was this prevalent. In some cases, coaches were just looking for work. In others, coaches simply got better deals, while some jumped at the chance to reunite with guys they'd worked with in the past.

Consider:

  • Lance Thompson, after two years at Alabama under Nick Saban, joins Lane Kiffin's staff at Tennessee.
  • Former Auburn coach and linebacker James Willis leaves his alma mater for bitter rival Alabama to replace Thompson.
  • John Chavis ends up at LSU after 14 seasons as Tennessee's defensive coordinator.
  • Former Alabama defensive back Lorenzo Ward, after one year at Arkansas, leaves for South Carolina to reunite with Ellis Johnson, who left Arkansas a year earlier after spending 28 days on the Hogs' staff.
  • Trooper Taylor is back in the SEC at Auburn after spending last season at Oklahoma State and the previous four at Tennessee.
  • David Reaves leaves South Carolina for Tennessee to work under Kiffin, who is Reaves' brother-in-law.
  • Tracy Rocker leaves Ole Miss for Auburn, where he became the first SEC player in history to win the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award in 1988.
  • Former Auburn defensive ends coach Terry Price replaces Rocker at Ole Miss.
  • Ron Cooper, after five years at South Carolina, leaves for LSU.
  • Former Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron is the recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach at Tennessee after spending last year with the New Orleans Saints.
  • Former Tennessee running back Jay Graham, who also worked as a graduate assistant for the Vols, is now the running backs coach at South Carolina.
  • Former Ole Miss assistant Frank Wilson has a cup of coffee at Mississippi State earlier this month before bolting for Tennessee.
  • Tony Hughes, after a year at Southern Miss, replaces Wilson at Mississippi State. Hughes worked under Orgeron all three years at Ole Miss.
  • Former Auburn assistant Eddie Gran lands at Tennessee.
  • Former Arkansas offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is back in the SEC at Auburn after spending the last two years at Tulsa.
  • Carl Torbush, who last worked in the SEC as Alabama's defensive coordinator in 2002, is back in the league as Mississippi State's defensive coordinator.

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