Teams in the Southeastern Conference participate in some of the fiercest rivals in college sports. Now, the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry is going to have some added storylines among the coaching staffs.
Today, the Auburn Tigers announced that they have swiped long-term Georgia Bulldogs assistant Rodney Garner.
School athletic director Jay Jacobs confirmed the news with a simple tweet.
Welcome Home, Coach Rodney Garner! #wareagle
— Jay Jacobs (@jayjacobsauad) December 21, 2012
Garner played football at Auburn from 1984-88 and has now joined Gus Malzahn’s coaching staff as the assistant head coach/defensive line coach.
“We are excited to announce Rodney Garner as our assistant head coach and defensive line coach,” Malzahn said in a statement. “Rodney is one of the top defensive line coaches in college football who has had great success in the Southeastern Conference. It is great to welcome an Auburn man back home.”
Garner’s deep roots with the Auburn program led to the excitement when he was offered a position on Malzahn’s staff. Garner released a statement of his own to express his excitement.
“Auburn has always been a very special place for me and my wife, Kimberly, who is also an Auburn graduate,” Garner said. “I owe a lot to Auburn and the men who helped mold me to who I am today both professionally and personally. I’m very appreciative to Coach Malzahn for this opportunity and I feel very strongly that I can be an asset to the program. I have a lot of love for Auburn and I felt this was a great chance to help give back to a place that has given me so much. I look forward to helping get Auburn back to where it belongs.”
The Georgia Bulldogs head coaching staff will now have a major void to fill.