Tuberville Says He Is Healthy and Fired Up

Comments from Auburn's head football coach are featured.

Auburn, Ala.--At his weekly press conference, Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville said on Monday that he would like to coach for 10 more years at Auburn and dismissed rumors that he is not in good health or is looking to leave the AU program.

"I don't talk about rumors that much, but over the last week or so, obviously, there have been a lot of things said in the papers or magazines or whatever--you know I get people who email me that.

"I just want to let everybody know, everything is going good," he said. "I did not have a stroke. I am completely healthy. As a matter of fact about three months ago I had a full physical. I am not tired of coaching. I am as fired up as ever.

"You know, I have been here 10 years as a head coach. It is my 30th year as a coach and I feel as good right now as I ever have about coaching football and young guys. And, I still have got that drive. You pretty much have to--14 to 18 hour days this time of year.

"I read that my drive was gone," he added. "No, we did not negotiate a contract last week. That was another one that came out. I don't like recruiting any more? Well, I went 2,500 miles last Thursday and Friday and covered a lot of high schools and talked to a lot of coaches and I loved every minute of it. And, our recruiting is growing great.

"It is just amazing the rumors that go around when things aren't going as you would hope. No matter what happens anywhere, you re going to have years that things are not going to go perfect. That is my job to get it straightened out."

Tuberville, whose team is 4-3 going into a game on Thursday at West Virginia, began his 10th season as Auburn's head football coach with a record of 80-33 with the Tigers along with a 49-23 mark in Southeastern Conference play.

Tuberville's teams have won bowl games in five of the past six seasons and established a school record in 2007 for consecutive victories over their archrival by running the winning streak to six straight over Alabama. The coach's 2008 seniors set an AU record for the most victories, breaking the mark of 41 established in 2006.

Under Tuberville the Tigers have had success against the nation's top teams. AU has won 15 of its last 23 matchups vs. opponents ranked in the Top 10. Tuberville's Auburn teams have produced 35 first team All-SEC players, eight All-Americans, 24 All-SEC Freshman team members, two SEC Player of the Year awards and 29 of his Tigers have been selected in the NFL Draft, including five this year.

With a bid this year his team can tie the school record for the most consecutive seasons in a bowl game. Tuberville's Auburn teams are 5-3 in bowls. He was also head coach of the East team in the 2006 Hula Bowl all-star game in Hawaii.

Tuberville has the fourth longest tenure of any head football coach in Auburn history behind Ralph "Shug" Jordan (25 years, 1951-1975), Mike Donahue (18 years, 1904-06 and 1908-22) and Pat Dye (12 years, 1981-1992).

His coaching resume includes four years in the high school ranks, five years as a defensive assistant at Arkansas State University, eight years as an assistant at Miami and one season as defensive coordinator at Texas A&M. Tuberville was a three-year letterman as a free safety at Southern Arkansas University, where he also played on the golf team, earning two letters in that sport. Before that he was a football, basketball and baseball player at Harmony Grove High in Camden, Ark.

Commenting on his 2008 team, Tuberville said, "And the one thing that I will tell you about our football team, is with all these distractions from the outside, I can tell more about our football team when things go like this than I do at any other time because a good football team is made from within. not from without.

"And we've got some great kids on this team that have busted their tails, and they have hurt immensely and as much time and effort as they've put into it, and every fan out there, you can put them together and they really love their football. And I'm proud of that, but you can put every fan together and it wouldn't come near the hurt that it hurts one of these kids to lose a football game--the effort and time they put into it.

"I'm proud of them, but I just wanted to let you know that I've been here 10 years, I plan on being here 10 more and I'm looking forward to it. And all these rumors get started, and I'm 10 years an Auburn man and I'm ten years more of an Auburn man than most because I've put my heart and soul in this thing and we ain't gonna stop now."

Tuberville added, "We're going to keep working and striving to get better because we do have a good football team. We're not playing well right now and this is a transition year, but we're going to get better."

The Tigers will make a road trip to West Virginia for a Thursday game this week. Asked if he believes it is a must-win for his team that has struggled, on offense, Tuberville responded, "No, we can't do that. If you look at our team and how we've played and start putting that type of pressure on our guys that are practicing hard and are trying to get better, there is no way you can do that.

"Of course, we're going to go to play the best game that we've played, but West Virginia is going to do the same thing," he added. "They're 4-2. They've played one game less than we have. It's two teams that are trying to get back on track. I think they have won two or three games in a row so they're playing better than we are. That's football and we have got to regroup.

"I love this team because they disregard everything outside. They understand what we have got to do. I would never tell them that we must go to West Virginia and win this game, that's not what it is about. It's about getting better and understanding your problems and not worrying about rumors, and instead, working those problems out and making yourself better. We have a lot of room for improvement in every area."

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