Former Auburn star Zac Etheridge has joined Western Carolina’s coaching staff to lead the cornerbacks.
Etheridge will be forever remembered at Auburn for his incredible recovery after a scary collision in 2009 against Ole Miss that left him with a broken neck. He returned to the field nine months later and was the Tigers’ second-leading tackler on the way to winning a national championship. He finished with 69 tackles, intercepted three passes and returned a fumble for a 47-yard touchdown in a shootout victory against Arkansas.
“Zac is a great addition to our staff, bringing both a championship mentality and work ethic to our program,” WCU coach Mark Speir said in a press release. “His experiences on the football field in helping Auburn win the 2011 National Championship are invaluable. He brings a lot of experiences at all levels of football, from playing in the BCS title game to making it to the NFL and being a part of coaching staffs at a couple of FBS programs. He has an extremely bright future as a young coach.”
Etheridge previously served as a defensive graduate assistant for three years at Georgia Tech, where he worked with the secondary. He was also a graduate assistant for former Auburn defensive coordinator Ted Roof while at Penn State under then-coach Bill O’Brien. Roof coached Etheridge during his final two seasons playing for the Tigers.
Etheridge is the second coach with Auburn ties to join the WCU staff this week. Former graduate assistant Blake Gideon was hired to also coach in the secondary.