Muschamp: "Auburn Is A Special Place"

New Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp talks about the Tigers and his new job.

Miami, Fla.--Named Auburn's new defensive coordinator on Friday following the departure of David Gibbs to the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, 34-year-old Will Muschamp is on cloud nine.

After stints at Auburn, LSU and most recently in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins last season, Muschamp said it's good to be back in the SEC and at Auburn.

"First of all I want to thank Coach (Tommy) Tuberville for the great opportunity to be the defensive coordinator at Auburn," Muschamp said. "It's an honor to be added to the Auburn family.

"Coach Tuberville and his staff have done an outstanding job at Auburn. While I was at LSU I had a lot of respect for what they were doing and what they were accomplishing. Auburn has always had a great tradition of playing dominant defense. I'm just looking to being a part of that."

A player at Georgia before his coaching days, Muschamp is very familiar with football at Auburn and in the SEC. Saying that he's anxious to get started working on Monday, he said he's ready to continue Auburn football the way it's supposed to be played.

"Auburn is a special place," Muschamp says. "Playing at Georgia and playing Auburn every year you understand a little bit more about the place having been there. They are a team that always played hard. Coach (Pat) Dye established a lot of that when he was there and Coach Tuberville and his staff have been able to continue it. Playing against Auburn and competing against them I have great respect for them.

"In my time there I understood a little bit what the Auburn family is about, about coaching in the Iron Bowl and being a part of that tradition. It's just a special place. It's a state where you've got two universities and not a whole lot else. They care about their football an awful lot in the state of Alabama and I'm just honored to be a part of it. It's a great step in the right direction."

Will Muschamp is shown coaching for the Miami Dolphins.

Because of the speed of the hire it would seem fairly obvious that something has been in the works before Friday. While there's little doubt Tuberville had Muschamp's name on his famous ‘short list,' Muschamp said that he didn't get contacted until two of Auburn's current assistants put in a good word for him after a phone call.

"I know Hugh Nall and Steve Ensminger and several of the coaches on the staff," Muschamp said. "They made contact Wednesday night to see if I might be interested and I told them I would be. I told them I think Auburn is a special place and a place you can go and coach and be there for a long time. That's kind of what I was looking at. I got excited about the opportunity and last night we were able to finalize everything with Coach Tuberville once David made his decision that he was going to leave. I'm excited about getting started."

Coming from the school of defense under Nick Saban at Miami and LSU and before that working with Bill Oliver while at Auburn, Muschamp has been mentored by some of the country's best defensive minds. In Saban he had a more aggressive defensive coach that loved to blitz. He said that although the scheme might not exactly match Saban's, Tuberville's ideas on defense are some that fit right in with his own.

"He and I are on the same page about what we want to do and what we want to accomplish," Muschamp said. "The big thing is getting them lined up and getting them to play hard.

"We try to make this coaching rocket science, it's not real hard. Let's get them to play hard and fly around the football and have fun. We've got good enough players that we'll be okay. We just need to do a good job of getting them prepared each week and we're going to do that and work hard to get that done. They've done that before.

"They've been playing good defense at Auburn. We've just got to continue what we've done and build on it a little bit. I think each year your staff evolves a little bit because the game changes a little bit every year and you have to evolve with it. We're going to continue to do that. We're on the same page about what we want to do and what we want to accomplish from a scheme standpoint. There's not going to be a whole lot of changes. We've just got to get them playing hard."

Saying he wasn't looking for a job when Nall and Ensminger gave him a call, Muschamp said that he's happy to be moving to Auburn and getting back into the college game. If he has his way it will be for a long time.

"In the NFL it's all coaching," Muschamp said. "You don't have to do some of the recruiting part of it, which I enjoyed at LSU and other places I've been. You really just focus on the finer parts of the game. That's really all you do is football all the time. I certainly think I'm a better coach for having been there and having experienced that. I'm looking forward to taking my experiences back to Auburn."

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