Tigers Hiring Oklahoma State's Luper

Curtis Luper is making the move from the Big 12 to coach in the SEC at Auburn.

Stillwater, Okla.--Oklahoma State running backs coach and assistant head coach Curtis Luper will be making a move to join Gene Chizik's staff at Auburn.

Curtis Luper

Luper has been running backs coach and assistant head coach of the Cowboys since 2005. Prior to that he was running backs coach at New Mexico for three seasons.

From 1999-2001 he was secondary coach and assistant head coach at Texas A&M-Commerce. In 1998 he coached running backs at McKinney High in Texas.

In 1997 he coached running backs at Stephen F. Austin after spending the previous two seasons as graduate assistant at the college in Texas where Chizik coached from 1992-1997.

"Curtis Luper is a tremendous coach, who I've had the pleasure of watching blossom from a player to the successful individual that he is today," Chizik said. "I had a great amount of respect for him as a player and while mentoring him in the beginning of his coaching career. Curtis has done an outstanding job coaching running backs and I am excited to coach with him again."

Luper said, "The opportunity to reconnect with my mentor in Coach Chizik and have the chance to coach at a program known as ‘Running Back U,' was something that I could not pass up. My coaching philosophy and foundation was established with Coach Chizik 13 years ago at Stephen F. Austin, where we took our initial jobs, and arm in arm helped the program to the national (Division I-AA) semi-finals. "

The OSU Cowboys led the Big 12 Conference in rushing the past two seasons with Luper as running backs coach. In 2007 Oklahoma State rushed for 243.2 yards per game, which was eighth nationally. This year the Cowboys averaged 256.0 yards per game, which is seventh nationally.

In 2005 one of his running backs, Mike Hamilton, rushed for an OSU freshman season record of 961 yards and was named the Big 12 offensive newcomer of the year. In 2006, Hamilton, Dantrell Savage and Keith Toston combined to rush for 2,000 yards and 18 TDs as the Cowboys rushed for 208 yards per contest, which was first in the Big 12 and seventh nationally.

As an assistant at the University of New Mexico, Luper coached DonTrell Moore, the Mountain West Conference's career rushing leader with 3,675 yards. In 2003 the Lobos ranked 16th nationally in rushing with 210 yards per game.

Luper played collegiately at Oklahoma State (1984-87) where he was part of three bowl teams. However, he took a break from college to serve as an air traffic controller from 1988-92 for the Army.

He returned to college at Stephen F. Austin where he earned second team All-Southland Conference honors as a running back in 1993. He earned his bachelor's degree in communications from the college in 1996 and a master's from Stephen F. Austin in 1998.

A 1984 graduate of Sherman High School, Luper earned Texas All-State honors as a senior before signing with Oklahoma State. Luper is married to the former Nikki Echols. They have three daughters, A'rielle, Charitie and Cheyenne, and two sons, Cameron and Chancellor.

Luper is the third on the field assistant hired by Chizik joining Tulsa offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and James Willis, who had coached linebackers the previous three seasons at Auburn. Chizik is also believed to be interested in another OSU assistant coach, Trooper Taylor, who previously coached in the SEC at Tennessee before making the move to Oklahoma State last season.

Taylor was at Tennessee from 2004 to 2007 before leaving for Stillwater where he also served as assistant head coach.


Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories