Football Assistant Coach Recovering After Surgery

An Auburn assistant football coach is recovering from what looks to have been successful surgery.

Auburn, Ala.--Assistant football coach Phillip Lolley is recovering from successful heart surgery, but the coach of the Auburn cornerbacks will have to take it easy for much of the summer before resuming his normal busy schedule.

Head coach Tommy Tuberville says that Lolley came through surgery to repair damage to his heart with flying colors and is expected to make a full recovery. "It was something he had to have," Tuberville says. "He just had heart complications and they went in and corrected the problem. The surgery went great. Now he will have a few weeks of recuperation and they say he is going to be fine during two-a-days. Our prayers are with him for a speedy recovery."

Freshmen are scheduled to report on August 4th and first full squad practice is August 8th. Lolley is expected to full speed several weeks before then.

Lolley, who had the surgery in Birmingham, is expected to be released from the hospital early next week. Except for the heart problem, the AU assistant coach is in excellent physical condition because he works out regularly.

The 48-year-old coach is beginning his third season on Tuberville's staff. He coached outside linebackers his first season and last year handled the cornerbacks while also helping with the safeties. He has the same role for new defensive coordinator Gene Chizik, who also coaches the safeties.

Lolley arrived on campus with a reputation as being an excellent and aggressive defensive coach with a track record of success. A veteran high school coach who worked his way up through the ranks in the Alabama prep football scene, Lolley was working as conditioning coach for the Tigers when he replaced Joe Pannunzio after the former AU assistant coach was named head coach at Murray State. At that time, Tuberville decided to add a defensive coach to the staff to replace Pannunzio, an offensive assistant.

Lolley is well respected in the Alabama high school ranks and his addition has helped Tuberville's staff strengthen its ties with in-state prep coaches, which has been a major goal of this coaching staff.

Tuberville and Lolley have a long-time coaching relationship going back to the Auburn head coach's days at the University of Miami, where Lolley studied that college's defensive schemes while a young high school coach. Lolley noted that he admired the aggressive and successful style of defense the Hurricanes played when Tuberville was a linebacker coach and defensive coordinator at Miami.

Phillip is shown in action at a practice in Jordan-Hare Stadium.

Lolley has fit in well with the Auburn staff and has already developed a reputation as a hard-working coach on the field and off the field as a recruiter.

Lolley is a 1973 graduate and was a baseball letterman at Livingston College (West Alabama). He began coaching as a football assistant at Southern Choctaw Academy in Toxey, Ala., in 1977. He moved to Warrior Academy in Eutaw, Ala., in 1978 and stayed there for four years as a head coach.

He joined the Alabama High School Athletic Association public school coaching ranks in 1982 when he became defensive coordinator at Demopolis High School. In two years there, his team produced 12 shutouts. In 1984 he was named head coach at Stevenson High. He stayed there through 1987 before becoming head coach at North Jackson High. He led that school to the state playoffs each season there and his 1993 team won the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 4A state title.

Lolley is expected to have a talented group of cornerbacks to coach featuring returning starters Roderick Hood, a senior, and Carlos Rogers, a sophomore who earned Freshman All-SEC honors last year.


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