Tuberville Lands Former Champ Muschamp

It didn't take long for Tommy Tuberville to replace David Gibbs with a highly regarded young defensive coordinator.

Auburn, Ala.--In less than 24 hours of the announcement that David Gibbs would leave his post as Auburn's defensive coordinator, Tommy Tuberville already had the guy he wanted as the replacement--Will Muschamp, the defensive coordinator for LSU's 2003 National Championship team.

"He's worked here, he's coached in the SEC, he's been a coordinator in college and he's been a coordinator at the NFL level," Tuberville says. "That was my criteria to bring someone in and they're very hard to find. We're very fortunate to have a guy like Will being part of our staff."

Muschamp, who was defensive coordinator at LSU from 2001-2004, was known during his time in Baton Rouge for his attacking, NFL-style defense which featured blitzes from all over the field. Tuberville says Muschamp's philosophies, which are out of a 4-3 base defense, are similar to his own.

"We'll still run the same schemes that we have here, but we'll want to look at some of the things they've done over the last six or seven years and incorporate those," Tuberville says. "We think we have a lot of good things going for us here at Auburn on defense, but we're always looking for some new ideas. I think Will will bring that to us."

Muschamp learned from one of the top defensive minds in the game, Nick Saban, during his stint at LSU and followed Saban to the Miami Dolphins for this past season where he was Assistant Head Coach of Defense (defensive coordinator). Tuberville adds that Muschamp will not only bring his scheme to Auburn, but also his recruiting talents that helped transform LSU into a powerhouse program.

"Will is a guy I've known for a while," he says. "He's well schooled in what we want to do here on defense. I think Nick Saban is one of better defensive coaches and defensive teachers in the country. Will has had the opportunity to learn from him for the last several years.

"We always had some great battles when they were at LSU," Tuberville adds. "We've always studied what they've done on defense and admired the things they've done. I think Will is an excellent teacher as well as an excellent recruiter. Talking to some of my coaches in the last couple of days Will is very well versed in what he has done on the recruiting trail also."

This is the second consecutive year for Tuberville to hire a defensive coordinator with college and NFL experience.

"There is probably a little bit more scheme and chess playing in the NFL than there is in college football because there's so much more time you can spend," he says. "We did that a little bit last year with David. We'll look to enhance that with what Will has learned in the last year in the NFL and hopefully make our team better."

With Auburn linebacker coach Joe Whitt resigning from his position on the same day as the hire of Muschamp, the Tigers have an opening for both defensive backs and linebackers coaches. Muschamp has coached linebackers and DBS and could coach either at Auburn. Muschamp says he expects to coach the secondary, but a final decision on that won't be made for several days.

"We'll sit down as a staff Monday and we'll start going over that," Tuberville says. "A lot of it will depend on Will and what he's comfortable with. I think he's an excellent football coach and good football coaches can coach about any position, especially coordinators. We'll have to wait until Monday to put all of those pieces together."

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