Auburn, Ala.--An ace recruiter at every stop along the way in his career, North Carolina running backs coach/special teams coordinator Larry Porter is the guy Coach Gus Malzahn targeted for his open position on the Auburn staff and he was officially hired on Saturday.
Joining the Tigers to coach tight ends for the Tigers and be the recruiting coordinator as well, Porter has been known as one of the top recruiters in college football dating back to his time as an assistant at LSU when he helped the Tigers to the 2008 national title.
“Larry is a true professional and will be a great addition to our staff,” Malzahn said. “He is an outstanding coach with a very good history of player development and is one of the top recruiters in the country.”
Coming to Auburn from North Carolina where he served in the same roles for the Tar Heels, Porter said he's excited about being part of the program and believes big things are ahead.
"I want to thank Coach Malzahn for giving me and my family the opportunity to be a part of the Auburn family,” Porter said. “He has assembled a great staff and has all of the pieces to pursue a championship. Auburn has a great football tradition and I can't wait to get started. War Eagle!"
Taking over Scott Fountain's role as Auburn's tight end coach, Porter's addition as the recruiting coordinator leaves an open special teams coordinator spot that will now go to veteran running back Coach Tim Horton.
“I’m excited to have Tim serve as our special teams coordinator,” Malzahn said. “He has assisted with that unit the last four years and will do an outstanding job.”
In three of his five seasons at LSU, the Tiger rushing unit averaged over 165 yards a game, including a high of 214 yards per game in 2007. That squad closed out the season ranked 11th nationally in rushing. From 2005-08, the Tigers totaled 108 rushing touchdowns, including 35 in 2007.
As LSU’s running backs coach, Porter helped develop some of the finest players at that position in LSU’s history. From 2005-09, LSU produced a 1,000-yard rusher twice Jacob Hester with 1,103 yards in 2007 and Charles Scott with 1,174 yards in 2008 as well as having five players (Hester, Joseph Addai, Quinn Johnson, Charles Scott, Trindon Holliday) selected in the NFL Draft.
Porter and the Tigers had a “running back-by-committee” approach during the national championship season in 2007. Hester led all rushers with a career-best 1,103 yards and 11 touchdowns and was a second team All-SEC selection. Williams was second on the squad with 478 yards and six scores, while Trindon Holliday was third with 364 yards and two touchdowns.
Prior to his time in Baton Rouge, Porter worked at Oklahoma State and had huge success with the Cowboys. At Oklahoma State, Porter’s stable of running backs included 1,000-yard rushers for three-straight seasons. In 2004, Vernand Morency earned second team All-Big 12 honors after rushing for 1,474 yards, which ranked eighth in the nation, and 12 touchdowns. Morency was a third round pick of the Houston Texans in 2005.
Most recently, Porter was at North Carolina with an offensive staff that helped put the Tar Heels back on the college football map.
Under his guidance, Carolina’s running game has improved dramatically as the Tar Heels rushed for 224.4 yards per game in 2015 to finish 18th nationally. That is the highest average per game on the ground at UNC since 1994 (226.9). Carolina had the nation’s most improved rushing game in 2015, averaging 1.99 more yards per carry than it did the previous season.
Elijah Hood led a trio of running backs who averaged more than 6.0 yards per carry. Hood rushed for 1,463 yards and scored 17 touchdowns en route to first-team All-ACC honors. He had eight 100-yard rushing games, including a career-best 220 yards in a win at NC State. T.J. Logan averaged 6.1 yards per carry and reached the end zone five times, while Romar Morris averaged 6.4 yards per carry and scored once.
Also spending a year each at Arizona State and Texas, Porter was the head coach for two seasons at his alma mater Memphis as well.
Larry Porter Coaching Year-By-Year
2014-present - North Carolina Running Backs Coach/Special Teams Coordinator
2013 - Texas Running Backs Coach
2012 - Arizona State Running Backs Coach
2010-11 - Memphis Head Coach
2006-09 - LSU Assistant Head Coach/Running Backs
2005 - LSU Running Backs Coach
2002-04 - Oklahoma State Running Backs Coach
1999-2001 - Arkansas State Running Backs Coach
1998 - Tennessee-Martin Running Backs Coach
1996-97 - Wooddale High School Running Backs/Defensive Backs