SEC: Rich Bisaccia

Gus Malzahn makes coaching changes

January, 25, 2013
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has barely been on the job, but he's already having to reshuffle his coaching staff.

On Friday, Malzahn announced that assistant head coach/special teams coach Rich Bisaccia is leaving to become the special teams coach for the Dallas Cowboys. Malzahn hired Bisaccia from the San Diego Chargers on Jan. 3.

With Bisaccia heading back to the NFL, Malzahn announced that tight ends coach Tim Horton will now coach running backs, while Scott Fountain, who has served as Auburn's player personnel director the past four years, has been promoted to tight ends/special teams coach.

Horton has 12 years of experience as a running backs coach at the college level, including the past six years at Arkansas. He coached four different 1,000-yard rushers from 2007-10. Some of the big names he's instructed include Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Knile Davis.

"Rich had an offer that he felt he could not turn down and we wish him nothing but the best," Malzahn said in a release through the school. "I'm excited that Tim will be coaching our running backs. He has a tremendous track record coaching some great backs and I'm extremely confident that will continue here at Auburn. Scott is someone I tried to hire as an assistant coach a year ago at Arkansas State. He is a great coach with a tremendous work ethic, and his strong ties in the state of Alabama will be an asset to our program."

Surely, Malzahn didn't want to have to make any sort of coaching change this early into his tenure at Auburn. But the good news for Malzahn is he had a plan in place and didn't have to go far to find a replacement.

Lunchtime links

January, 25, 2013
Just one more episode of "30 Rock." Tracy Jordan, you will be missed.

Lunchtime links

January, 24, 2013
Checking out the links on a Thursday.
It's been a revolving door on Tennessee's coaching staff ever since the season ended, and head coach Derek Dooley moved quickly to fill his latest opening.

The Vols announced on Thursday that Sam Pittman had been hired to coach the offensive line after Harry Hiestand bolted for the Notre Dame offensive line job.

Pittman was at North Carolina for the past five seasons and part of Butch Davis' original staff there in 2007. Just prior to the 2011 season, Pittman was promoted to associate head coach, replacing John Blake, who resigned one game into the 2010 season after being linked to NCAA allegations that triggered an investigation of the Tar Heels' football program. Pittman was named as one of the country's top 25 recruiters by in 2011. He was at Northern Illinois before joining Davis at North Carolina.

The Vols have seen five different assistant coaches to leave since the end of their 5-7 season. One of those, receivers coach Charlie Baggett, was not retained. Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebackers coach Peter Sirmon left for the same jobs at Washington, while special teams coordinator/tight ends coach Eric Russell left to join Mike Leach's staff at Washington State.

Dooley is targeting Alabama linebackers coach Sal Sunseri and Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green to replace Wilcox. Dooley has talked with both Sunseri and Green in the last two days. Dooley has offered the special teams coordinator's job, meanwhile, to San Diego Chargers assistant Rich Bisaccia, who just finished his first season as the Chargers' special teams coordinator. Bisaccia was previously the associate head coach and special teams coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Dooley had already hired Jay Graham to coach the Vols' running backs. Graham, a former star running back at Tennessee, had been at South Carolina the past three seasons.