Auburn, Ala.--It didn’t take long for Gus Malzahn to find a replacement for departed wide receiver coach Dameyune Craig as the Auburn Tigers will bring home Kodi Burns to coach wide receivers and serve as co-offensive coordinator. One of the most beloved Auburn players of the last 25 years for the way he handled things during his career, moving from quarterback to wide receiver and playing a big role in the 2010 BCS Championship, Burns has been a fast riser in the coaching profession and that has him back on the Plains.
"I'm really excited to be back home at Auburn," Burns said. "I was fortunate to be a part of very successful teams at Auburn, and I look forward to helping the program be successful in the future. I appreciate Coach Malzahn giving me this opportunity and I can’t wait to rejoin a lot of familiar faces on the offensive staff. I’m ready to go to work."
Following an up and down playing career at Auburn that started by earning MVP honors in the Chick-fil-A Bowl as a freshman and ended with him catching a touchdown pass in the win over Oregon, Burns got his coaching career underway in 2012 when he joined Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee as a graduate assistant at Arkansas State. Helping them to the Sun Belt title, Burns worked with freshman All-American wide receiver J.D. McKissic.
Moving back to Auburn in 2013, Burns worked with the wide receivers again as Sammie Coates and Ricardo Louis both made big strides as the Tigers advanced to the BCS title game for the second time in five years. Malzahn said it's an obvious fit to have him back at Auburn.
"We're excited to welcome Kodi back to our program," Malzahn said. "He was a wide receiver on our national championship team in 2010 and was on our staff in 2013 when we played in the national title game. He is very familiar with our system and understands what it takes to win championships here at Auburn. Kodi is a bright football mind who coached two 1,000-yard receivers last year. He will be a big asset to our program."
The following season Burns got his first full-time coaching job working with Pat Sullivan at Samford. Coaching the running backs for the Bulldogs he helped sophomore Denzell Williams to first team all-conference honors after he rushed for 918 yards and 16 touchdowns, and led the SoCon in scoring.
Last season it was back to wide receivers for Burns as he moved to the D1 level at Middle Tennessee and made a huge impact for the Blue Raiders. In his first season at Middle Tennessee, Burns led two all-conference receivers to multiple school records as the team advanced to a bowl game and finished with a 7-6 record.
Richie James, who earned freshman All-American honors, collected all-conference first team and freshman team accolades with his single season school record 100 receptions and 1,220 receiving yards, both of which led all freshmen nationally. Senior Ed Batties, an all-conference second team selection, added 77 catches, the second most in MT single season history. He also totaled 960 yards and a school record 13 touchdowns.