"He is a very good technician when it comes to fundamentals and techniques," Tuberville told Inside the Auburn Tigers. "I had college guys, pro guys, coordinators and head coaches who were interested in the job. It is amazing how popular that job has gotten to be."
Tuberville says he interviewed around a dozen coaches and talked to around 25 or 30 others. "There were a lot of good candidates," he says. "It was important for me to find a guy who could handle the jobs of defensive coordinator and secondary coach, which is something he will do for us. When I was making a decision about who to hire for the job, finding someone who would do a great job coaching our secondary is something that I always kept coming back to."
Rhoads met with Tuberville and other Auburn officials on Wednesday on the AU campus before returning to Pittsburgh to tell Pitt officials that he is taking the job at Auburn.
Tuberville says the Auburn defense will look the same as it has in recent years with Rhoads taking over for Will Muschamp.
"Our defensive coordinators have to be able to adjust to what we are doing, and the terminology we are using," Tuberville says. "It is always easier for one guy to learn it than all of the players. He is very enthusiastic. He loves football.
Paul Rhoads is a coach Tuberville had tried to hire for previous vacancies on the Auburn coaching staff.
"He comes from a football family," Tuberville adds. "His dad is a coach. I have always thought he would be a great fit here--both he and his family. He has a 13-year-old and an 11-year-old boy, the same ages as Tucker and Troy (Tuberville's sons).
"He has had a lot of success as a coach and he is very enthusiastic about football," Tuberville says. "I am very excited about having him on our staff."
The Tigers, who will begin spring drills the last week in February, also have a new coordinator on offense. Tony Franklin, who joined the staff in December prior to Auburn's bowl victory over Clemson, will continue to install his version of the spread formation offense in spring drills. The annual A-Day Game is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 29th.