Report: Florida State coach, former Auburn player expected to become next Tigers DC
Kelly will reportedly remain at Florida State despite Auburn’s efforts. It is not clear whether a formal offer was made.
–End of UPDATE–
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn’s search for a new defensive coordinator may be nearing its conclusion.
All signs point to Florida State defensive coordinator Charles Kelly taking the same position with the Tigers, according to a report by 247sports’ Phillip Marshall.
Kelly is an Auburn graduate who played defensive back under Pat Dye from 1986-89, and he has been on Florida State’s staff for the past three seasons (two as the defensive coordinator). Kelly was Florida State’s linebackers coach in 2013 when the Seminoles defeated Auburn in the BCS title game.
Marshall reports that if the two sides reach an agreement, it would be one of college football’s most lucrative deals for a defensive coordinator.
This season, Florida State was ranked 15th in the country in total defense allowing just 327.7 yards a game. Florida State was also sixth in the nation in opponents’ points per game, giving up a paltry 15.8 points per contest.
Kelly, who played defensive back at Auburn under former coach Pat Dye, made $583,000 in base salary last season with Florida State, according to data compiled by USA Today. Muschamp made $1.6 million in base salary during his one season on The Plains, so a large pay raise could entice Kelly to return to his alma mater.
Earlier this week, Malzahn said he was searching for continuity at the defensive coordinator position after Muschamp took the South Carolina head coaching job after just one season as Auburn’s defensive playcaller. At a press conference for the Birmingham Bowl on Thursday, Malzahn would not name potential targets for the opening but he did say he wanted “the best guy for Auburn” and someone “who will be here awhile.”
As for who will call the defensive plays in the Birmingham Bowl on Dec. 30, Malzahn said a decision will likely be announced Monday. Current Auburn linebackers coach Lance Thompson is a candidate to assume the playcalling duties. But a permanent defensive coordinator solution may be coming soon.