Auburn Names New Defensive Coordinator

Friday Auburn Coach Tommy Tuberville announced the hiring of a new defensive coordinator for the Tigers.

Auburn, Ala.--It didn't take Coach Tommy Tuberville long to fill the role of defensive coordinator for the Tigers following the departure of David Gibbs to the Kansas City Chiefs as Miami Dolphins' coach Will Muschamp was named Auburn's coordinator for the 2006 season.

"Will has a tremendous amount of coaching and playing experience in the Southeastern Conference, which included time here at Auburn as a graduate assistant," Tuberville said. "Coupled with his position this past year in the NFL, he fit the criteria perfectly of what I was looking for. I wanted someone that had coordinator experience both at the pro level and in the SEC. Will has qualified in both areas."

A former Auburn graduate assistant under coach Bill Oliver in 1995 and 1996, Muschamp has been a fixture in both the SEC as a player at Georgia and recently coached in the NFL under Nick Saban when he followed the coach from LSU to the Miami Dolphins. Working alongside Richard Smith, Muschamp was essentially the co-defensive coordinator for the Dolphins in 2005 while coaching the safeties.

Will Muschamp

He is best known for his defensive teams at LSU under Saban as the linebacker coach. In 2004, LSU had the nation's third-ranked defense as it permitted an average of 17.1 points and 256.9 yards per game. They placed fifth in the nation in pass defense (157.2 yards per game) and seventh in rush defense (99.8 yards per game). They also allowed an average of only 2.9 yards per rush attempt. Muschamp, 34, says that he's excited about being back in the SEC and at Auburn.

"I'm very excited about the opportunity that Coach Tuberville has given me," Muschamp said. "I appreciate him giving me the chance to return to coach in the Southeastern Conference and at a quality program like Auburn.

"Coach Tuberville and his staff have done an outstanding job. Auburn has had the tradition of playing great defense and I'm looking forward to continuing that tradition."

In LSU's national championship season of 2003, the Tigers' defense under Muschamp led the nation in both scoring defense (11.0 points per game) and total defense (252.0 yards per game). LSU finished the year as the SEC's top-ranked defense in seven different categories, as it set a school record with 44 sacks and seven returns for scores (5 interceptions, 2 fumbles). In his four seasons on the LSU staff, Muschamp coached four All-America performers including LB Bradie James (2002), DT Chad Lavalais (2003), Webster (2003-04) and Spears (2004).

Prior to his years at LSU, Muschamp served as defensive coordinator at Valdosta State in 2000 and before that as secondary coach for Eastern Kentucky in 1999 and West Georgia in 1998. A native of Rome, Ga., Muschamp was a four-year letterman for Georgia as a safety and was a team co-captain his senior season.

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