When Will Muschamp was introduced as the new South Carolina head coach Monday, he said he had some regrets about his one-season tenure as Auburn’s defensive coordinator. Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is already searching for a replacement, but he still thinks hiring Muschamp was the right decision.
“Will (Muschamp) worked extremely hard and did a very good for us,” Malzahn said while attending the Nagurski Award banquet in Charlotte Monday night. “I knew eventually that he wanted to be a head coach. It just so happened that he got a head job in our league this year that he couldn’t turn down.”
Whoever Malzahn chooses will be Auburn’s third defensive coordinator in as many seasons and the seventh in 10 years. Malzahn also confirmed that secondary coach Travaris Robinson and analyst Bobby Bentley were no longer with the program. Robinson and Bentley are expected to join Muschamp’s staff at South Carolina.
The defense struggled early, but the unit was improving under Muschamp in the latter half of the season. With Muschamp’s departure, the defensive staff will experience its second consecutive turnover.
“We’d like to get somebody that we can get some stability,” Malzahn said. “We’ve got some very good kids, some very good players. I want to make sure we get the right person and the right person for our future.”
This is a crucial hire for Malzahn going into what could be a defining season in his tenure at Auburn. Since reaching the BCS championship game in 2013, Auburn is 6-10 in SEC play including seven straight home losses to SEC opponents. With that in mind, Malzahn wants to make sure he covers all bases when choosing his next defensive coordinator.
“I’m looking for the best guy for Auburn,” Malzahn said. “The best coordinator, the best person and all of the above.”