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Brian VanGorder introduced at Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn coach Gene Chizik says he spoke to only one candidate for the defensive coordinator opening, and that was Brian VanGorder.

VanGorder arrived on campus Wednesday morning and was introduced at a news conference before taking over his new job. Auburn has not released details of his deal, but Chizik said he had a single primary target.

"I only talked to one man. One," he said.

VanGorder spent the past four years as defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons. The former Georgia defensive coordinator said Chizik didn't have to do a hard sales job to lure him back to the college ranks and the Southeastern Conference.

"Whether it's the NFL, whether it's college football, there's elite jobs," VanGorder said. "This is an elite job. This is an incredible place."

He said no decision has been made on whether he'll coach the linebackers, as predecessor Ted Roof did.

Chizik and VanGorder have crossed paths, but never worked together.
Chizik replaced VanGorder as Central Florida's defensive coordinator in 1998, and they also flew back from a Frank Broyles Award ceremony for the nation's top assistant coach -- VanGorder won in 2003, Chizik in 2004.

"I've always had an extreme high level of respect for all the things that Brian has done, all the things he has accomplished both in college and the NFL," Chizik said.

VanGorder declined to discuss the timeline of the interview and hire -- the Falcons finished their season on Sunday, a day before his hiring was announced.

"Everything was done with great integrity both with the Atlanta Falcons and with Auburn," VanGorder said. "We were upfront through all communications. The Atlanta Falcons have been fantastic and the four years with Atlanta has been absolutely incredible."

Chizik is still seeking a replacement for offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. He says he has spoken to "a handful" of candidates.