No Timetable On Coordinator, Malzahn Says

Auburn's head football coach, Gus Malzahn, comments on his search for a new defensive coordinator.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Gus Malzahn isn’t giving any clues on how close he is to hiring a new defensive coordinator.

One week ago, less than 24 hours after closing the regular season with a 55-44 loss to Alabama, Auburn’s head coach fired Ellis Johnson, who has worked as Malzahn’s defensive coordinator and linebacker coach the past two seasons.

Malzahn declined to say if Auburn has offered or discussed the vacancy with former University of Florida head coach Will Muschamp. “We are just looking for the right fit for Auburn at this time,” he said.

Will Muschamp has worked at Auburn as a graduate assistant coach and a defensive coordinator.

Asked who will be coordinating the defense for Auburn’s New Year’s Day game vs. Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl at Tampa, Malzahn said, “We are still working through that right now.”

The coach also declined to say if there would be additional changes to the defensive staff after he brings in a replacement for Johnson. “We are going to hire a defensive coordinator and we will go from there,” he said.

Ellis Johnson

Malzahn would not reveal whether or not Auburn’s disappointing defensive performance vs. Alabama led to the decision to fire Johnson.

“I am not going to get into specifics between me and Ellis,” Malzahn said. “I just felt like it was time we made a change and go in a different direction with our defensive coordinator.”

Auburn’s second-year head coach added, “Ellis is a good coach, he is a very good person, and I have got a lot of respect for him.”

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