Tuberville Still Searching For The Right Fit

Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville shares his thoughts on the defensive coordinator search.

San Antonio, Tex.--Just two days away from the first of two big recruiting weekends on the Plains, the Auburn Tigers and coach Tommy Tuberville aren't in a rush to name a new defensive coordinator and it could be well into next week before the successor to John Lovett is tabbed. After talking with several coaches during the last three days and with several candidates popping up daily there seems to be no end as to who is interested in the job.

"I'm still looking," Tuberville tells Inside The Auburn Tigers from the American Football Coaches Association Convention in San Antonio. "I have talked to about 10 or 11 guys and have a couple more to talk to then I'll start kind of narrowing it down from there. But it's going to be a while."

Taking little time to get offensive coordinator Bob Petrino in the fold, Tuberville says that looking for a defensive coordinator is a little bit different and normally takes more time.

"You have a lot of offensive guys that needed to know pretty soon what we were going to do," he notes. "Defensively it's important also and we need to get that done as soon as we can for recruiting but it's not something that you go and do just because you think you need to be doing it. But it's going good. There are a lot of people interested I know that. We just have to make sure we take the right one, a guy that fits in and knows how to make game plans and gets guys to play hard."

While names such as Randy Shannon, Tyrone Nix, David Gibbs, Gene Chizik, Dave Wommack, Woody Widenhofer and Brent Venables have all been mentioned at one time or another during the coaching search, Tuberville insists that he still will talk with several more candidates over the coming days before making a decision.

"Defense is a little different because you don't have the numbers you do on offense," he notes. "It's easier to show stats as an offensive guy than it is defense. That's what it all comes down to. I'm just trying to find a guy that will fit in and has our philosophy and that will work with all the coaches. I want someone that will bring a little toughness to us and understands that we're here to win a national championship and they have those same aspirations."

Tuberville and the Auburn staff will return home Wednesday afternoon and the entire staff will meet for the first time Thursday morning with Petrino for a recruiting meeting that prepares each of them for the coming weekend.

Tiger Ticket Extra: While Tuberville won't say who he has officially interviewed for the job, sources say that Shannon, Nix, and Venables are considered long shots to earn the job because of their lack of experience as coordinators. Gibbs is also doubtful to get the Auburn job because of his interest in staying in the National Football League. Of the names mentioned to this point it seems that Widenhofer, Chizik and Wommack are still in the mix but Tuberville says that several more coaches will be interviewed (he declined to make the list public at this time) in the next few days before he narrows his list down to a suitable number of candidates.


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