Chizik Still in Recruiting Mode for Coaches

New Auburn football coach Gene Chizik comments on his coaching staff and a variety of other subjects.

Auburn, Ala.--Gene Chizik said on Friday he is still looking for three on-the-field assistants for his new Auburn football coaching staff.

With the addition of Ted Roof as defensive coordinator earlier this week, the Tigers have added six assistants.

"I am not a multi-tasker so we are kind of attacking these positions one by one," Chizik said. "It is really going good--very positive.

"I really feel like we are methodically putting together a really great staff so I am real pleased with it," the Auburn head coach said. "Again, we are going to take our time to make sure we have the right fit for our guys, for our kids. It is very important."

Chizik compares recruiting football coaches to recruiting assistant coaches.

"You know it is funny, when you are out trying to hire coaches it is recruiting all over again," he said. "I mean, it is your first step of recruiting. You just don't go into Oklahoma State and say you want Curtis Luper and Trooper Taylor and just get them. You have got to recruit them."

Luper is Auburn's new running backs coach and Taylor is the new receivers coach and assistant head coach. Both are highly regarded assistants.

Chizik has also hired highly-regarded defensive coordinators with Gus Malzahn in from Tulsa to direct the offense and Roof in from Minnesota to coordinate the defense. Chizik also hired Jay Boulware from his Iowa State staff to coach tight ends and coordinate special teams. From the previous coaching staff, Chizik hired linebackers coach James Willis.

Coach Gus Malzahn

"One of the things I think everybody saw--the Ted Roofs of the world, Gus (Malzahn), all of those people see that Auburn is a special place," Chizik said. "I have got to recruit them, but to a certain degree right now you don't have to recruit them because they know about Auburn. I feel really good about the hirings so far. I really do. It is really unfolding the way I thought it would."

Chizik said he may go the annual national coaching convention next week to meet with others about the three openings on his staff. "We want to talk to as many as we can and try to get some feel for these guys in a lot of different ways..if that is the best scenario where we can talk to as many as possible we will do that. If not, we will just bring them in here."

Football News and Notes: The Chizik family that includes his wife Jonna and three children has relocated to Auburn. He says as an assistant coach he moved so often that the family handles it well. "It is just kind part of the territory," he said. "You do what you have got to do. Everybody learns how to survive. My wife, she's a soldier. She has just moved right along and my kids have been great. It has been an easy transition in terms of the fact that I have been here before."...Chizik notes that he is still meeting his new players and has started having individual meetings with them. He notes he is "trying to call as many of them in as I can and get to know them and try to put a face with a name. I haven't had a lot of time to do that, but I have met quite a few of them."

The coach said he isn't overly concerned that linebacker Tray Blackmon, cornerback Jerraud Powers and defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks are skipping their senior seasons to try pro football. Also, defensive end Raven Gray and cornerback Ryan Williams are not expected to be back on the 2009 team. Neither Gray nor Williams played last season. Williams was in Tommy Tuberville's "doghouse" for unspecified reasons and Gray was redshirted after having problems with a knee that required surgery. "The bottom line is, I want guys who want to be at Auburn," Chizik said. "I will say that until I am blue in the face. We want the right guys for this place. I don't have a whole lot of background knowledge on the people who aren't here, but as I said before I am not spending time on guys who aren't here. I am spending time on guys who are here. That is how I will be from here until they put me in the grave. The ones who aren't here, I don't have a whole lot of time to worry about that. I only have time to worry about the ones who are. That is where I will spend my energy."

Antonio Coleman

Chizik said he is thrilled about a redshirt junior who decided not to go pro. Antonio Coleman announced last week that he will be back to play defensive end for the Tigers. "I think it is huge for Auburn and our team first and we talked about that," the coach said. "Put the team first. Let's worry about the team and then all of the individual things come after that, but I am really proud of him to be, I guess, mature enough to understand that his best days are ahead of him and this was a huge, huge decision in the right direction for him career-wise. He has already graduated. It says a lot about who he is. I just think the kid is wise beyond his years."

Chaz Ramsey

Re-signee Nick Fairley, a juco transfer with three years of eligibility, has not enrolled in classes yet but that could happen any day...It is still to be determined if 2008 running back signee Onterio McCalebb will be able to transfer from prep school to Auburn in January or if it will be this summer...Chizik said he hasn't had a chance to talk to offensive lineman Chaz Ramsey about the possibility of returning to the team in 2009. He missed the 2008 season with a back problem and was considering a transfer to another college for a fresh start. Ramsey started at guard in 2007 as a true freshman.


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