Auburn football plans to bring back all of Gus Malzahn’s assistants for 2018

AUBURN, Ala. — Although two coordinators reportedly interviewed for head coach jobs and several position coaches have expiring contracts, Auburn football is set to bring its full coaching staff back in 2018.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said Wednesday the Tigers are planning to keep all nine of their assistant coaches for next season. Malzahn said part of his negotiations for a new 7-year, $49 million contract included new deals for his assistants.

“Our assistants have done a great job, and any time you have assistants that do a great job, you need to reward them,” Malzahn said. “I’m very blessed to have the staff we have, and kind of like I talked about, it’s all about the future and how bright the future is, and everything kind of coming together right now with the foundation that we have with our talent.”

Exact details of the contracts, including the one for Malzahn, have not yet been finalized. Outgoing Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs told reporters Wednesday he wasn’t part of negotiations and that he didn’t have any information on the new deals.

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Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, who was a Broyles Award finalist, reportedly interviewed multiple times for the head coaching vacancy at his alma mater of Tennessee. That job went to Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt last week.

Now Steele is set to return to Auburn for a third season after leading the Tigers into top 10 defensive marks nationally.

“I mean, Kevin is, in my opinion, the best defensive coordinator in all of college football,” Malzahn said. “When that happens, things like that happen. We’re glad to have him back. Obviously, he’s a big part of our success. And what he’s done with our success in the last two years is really outstanding.

“Very excited about the future with Coach Steele. He’s a great defensive coach, and he’s an even better person. He’s a great example for our players and just does a super job.”

Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey was reportedly a candidate at South Alabama. The Jaguars hired Central Arkansas head coach Steve Campbell earlier this month. In his first season at Auburn, Lindsey oversaw an offense that averaged more than 225 passing yards and 225 rushing yards per game.

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Auburn offensive line coach Herb Hand’s contract was set to expire on New Year’s Day. (Benjamin Wolk/SEC Country)

Malzahn said Wednesday that offensive line coach Herb Hand, whose contract was set to expire Jan. 1, will coach the Tigers in 2018.

“Yeah, Herb will be back with us,” Malzahn said. “Herb is one of the best offensive line coaches in college football. You saw what our line did. He’s one of the best.”

Auburn will also renew contracts for linebackers coach Travis Williams (set to expire Jan. 1) and wide receivers coach Kodi Burns (Jan. 31), according to Malzahn.

“We’re going to do everything we can to keep our guys,” Malzahn said.

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