AU Hires Pelton To Replace Rocker

Former Tiger star Mike Pelton will replace Tracy Rocker as Auburn's defensive line coach.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik has replaced defensive line coach Tracy Rocker with another former player familiar to Tiger fans with Mike Pelton of Louisiana-LaFayette returning to his alma mater to coach for Auburn.

On Wednesday afternoon Auburn confirmed what Inside the Auburn Tigers reported previously that Pelton has taken a position to coach at Auburn.

"I was fortunate to have Mike on my previous staff and I have known him for several years," Auburn head coach Gene Chizik says. "He's a great coach, a tireless worker and an outstanding recruiter who has mentored some very good players, including NFL standouts Demarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora, both who are from Auburn.

"Mike is very familiar with the state and region, and he knows what it takes to coach and recruit in the Southeastern Conference," Chizik adds. "We look forward to having a member of the Auburn Family return home and join our staff."

On Wednesday Pelton had these comments. "I'm very excited and humbled to return to Auburn and be a part of what Coach Chizik and his staff have built during the last two years. I look forward to working with a young defensive line and getting them ready to compete next season.

"Auburn has always had a special place in my heart and it's been my goal to coach at my alma mater," Pelton says. "I can't wait to return to the Plains and get started."

Like Rocker, Pelton was a star defensive tackle for the Tigers. A four-year letterman who was an All-SEC player for the Tigers as a senior in 1994, he was a member of the unbeaten 1993 team and a key player during Auburn's school-record 20-game winning streak.

Pelton was on Chizik's coaching staff in 2007-2008 at Iowa State, but did not make the move with Chizik to Auburn for the 2009 season. He joined the Vanderbilt staff as defensive ends coach and stayed in Nashville until joining the staff at Louisiana-LaFayette in January of this year.

Mike Pelton

Prior to coaching at Iowa State, the native of Goshen, Ala., worked in his home state as an assistant coach at Troy for former Auburn player Larry Blakeney. His final two years for the Trojans he worked as the co-defensive coordinator.

At Troy he helped coach two of the top players in the NFL, DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora. At Iowa State he coached a pair of second All Big-12 defensive linemen in noseguard Ahtyba Ruin and end Kurtis Taylor.

Pelton began his college coaching career working with the defensive line at Valdosta State where he helped that team post an 10-2 record and reach the NCAA Division II playoffs.

The former Tiger player was chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL Draft. After being cut he spent time with the Indianapolis Colts that season before ending his playing career.

Pelton, who is 39 years old, is married and he and his wife Stacy have three girls-- Myesa, Tyra and Peyton.


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