Rich Bisaccia Joins Auburn Coaching Staff

Rich Bisaccia is making a move from the NFL back to college football with the Auburn Tigers

Auburn, Ala.--Gus Malzahn has hired Rich Bisaccia to coach Auburn's running backs and special teams and the former San Diego Chargers assistant will also have the title as assistant head coach of the AU football team.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for me to return to the college game at a program like Auburn," Bisaccia said. "I have an incredible amount of respect for Auburn and Coach Malzahn. I met Gus in the spring of 2010 and have followed his cutting edge offense and what he's accomplished as a coach since he started coaching in college.

"He's a man of character and I had previously worked with Ellis Johnson and Charlie Harbison so I knew the type of staff that Gus was putting together. I'm excited and ready to help Auburn return to a championship caliber team."

A 30-year coaching veteran who played his college football at Yankton College in South Dakota, Bisaccia has spent the last 11 years in the National Football League. The first nine of those were spent with the Tampa Bay Bucs as he coached special teams from 2002-2007 before moving to associate head coach, special teams and running backs coach in 2008. From 2009-2010 he was the associate head coach and special teams coach for the Bucs.

Bisaccia is shown coaching with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

"Rich is widely regarded as the one of the top special teams coaches in all of football and has coached several elite running backs so we're thrilled to have him join our staff," Malzahn said.

"Rich's resume speaks for itself," Malzahn added. "He has been a part of some outstanding teams, including a Super Bowl Champion in Tampa Bay. He has coached several running backs and special teams players that were among the very best in the game at both the collegiate and professional level."

In his first season in Tampa the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII. Bisaccia's special teamers in Tampa Bay earned three Pro Bowl selections, 13 NFC Player of the Week awards and four NFC Player of the Month awards. The Buccaneers scored four touchdowns on kickoff returns, four on punt returns, and blocked 10 field goals, five punts and three extra-point attempts.

In 2009 the Buccaneers led the NFL with six blocked kicks. They also led the league in kickoff return average and ranked second in opponent kickoff return average.

In 2011 he made the move to the San Diego Chargers as special teams coach and added the title of assistant head coach for the 2012 season under Norv Turner, who was fired this week.

Bisaccia got his coaching career started in 1983 when he coached defensive backs and special teams. The next season he moved to the offensive side of the ball to coach the quarterback and wide receivers. He did that for four seasons before making a move to South Carolina as a graduate assistant.

For four years he worked as a graduate assistant and a volunteer coach for the Gamecocks, coaching tight ends, wide receivers, defensive ends and special teams before getting a full-time position in 1992 coaching the running backs and special teams. He did that for two seasons before moving to the same role at Clemson in 1994.

At Clemson from 1994-1998, Bisaccia was the running backs coach and special teams coordinator for the Tigers before moving to the same role at Ole Miss in 1999. In 2000 he added the title of assistant head coach to his duties in Oxford. He remained with the Rebels through the 2001 season before making the jump to Tampa Bay and the NFL in 2002.

During his three years at Ole Miss, Bisaccia coached one of the most prolific offensive players in school history in running back Deuce McAllister, who was selected in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints. McAllister finished his Ole Miss career with 18 school records, including most yards gained rushing with 3,060.

Bisaccia coached three All-SEC players at Ole Miss, with McAllister earning all-conference accolades in 1999 and 2000. McAllister was also selected to the All-SEC team as either an all-purpose player or a punt returner during his final two seasons. In 1999 both McAllister and running back Joe Gunn earned first team All-SEC recognition.

In his first season with the San Diego Chargers one of his players, kicker Nick Novak, made 27-34 field goals and set two team records under Bisaccia's watch, while Mike Scifres averaged a then-career high 47.5 yards per punt.

The kickoff coverage unit improved from 26th to 11th in the NFL. The Chargers also improved their punt coverage, allowing opponents 5.7 yards less per return and improving Scifres' net average by nearly nine yards. The Chargers also had a team-record 105-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, executed two successful onside kicks and a fake punt in 2011.

Rich Bisaccia is shown in action with the Chargers.

This past season Novak made 25-27 field goals, the only misses coming from beyond 50 yards. Scifres improved his average to a career-best and team-record 48.3 yards per punt. Michael Spurlock averaged 17.1 yards per punt return and had a punt and kickoff return for touchdowns, while the kickoff coverage unit was third in the NFL in opponents' average field position

Bisaccia's Coaching Resume:

1983--Defensive Backs and Special Teams, Wayne State
1984-87--Quarterbacks and Receivers, Wayne State
1988--Grad Assistant Tight Ends and Wide Receivers, South Carolina
1989-90--Volunteer Assistant, Defefensive Ends and Special Teams, South Carolina
1991--Volunteer Assistant, Tight Ends and Special Teams, South Carolina
1992-93--Running Backs and Special Teams, South Carolina
1994-98--Running Backs and Special Teams, Clemson
1999--Running Backs and Special Teams, Ole Miss
2000-01--Assistant Head Coach, Running Backs and Special Teams, Ole Miss
2002-07--Special Teams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2008--Associate Head Coach, Special Teams and Running Backs, Tampa Bay
2009-10--Associate Head Coach and Special Teams, Tampa Bay
2011--Special Teams, San Diego Chargers
2012 Assistant Head Coach Special Teams, San Diego Chargers

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