Rhett Lashlee has accepted the offensive coordinator job at Connecticut, leaving Auburn and his protégé Gus Malzahn in the process.
Rhett Lashlee has been by the side of Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn since running his offense as a quarterback at Springdale High School in Arkansas, eventually joining him as the Tigers offensive coordinator in 2013.
That partnership has officially ended, as Connecticut announced on Wednesday night that Lashlee has accepted the same position with the Huskies. Lashlee agreed to a 3-year, $350,000 a year deal, per Brett McMurphy, much less than what he was earning at Auburn.
“It’s probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve made, definitely in my professional career,” Lashlee said. “Auburn’s very dear to us. I’ve spent a total of six years here, two different times. All four of our kids were born here. We just love everything about Auburn. The Auburn family is always going to be very dear to us and a part of us.
“The opportunity to work for Randy Edsall, who has had success at a high level and success at UConn, and just have the opportunity to run the offense, and that’s something he’s given me to do. I’m grateful for that.
Malzahn also issued a statement thanking Lashlee.
“Rhett has been a valuable asset to our program, helping Auburn to a national championship as a graduate assistant and another national championship appearance in 2013,” Malzahn said. “Our offenses have achieved great success and he has been a big part of that. This is a great opportunity for Rhett to implement and run his own offense. I’ve known Rhett for two decades and he’s a man of great character and integrity and this is another step towards his goal to become a head coach. I want to thank Rhett for all of his contributions and his friendship. I want to wish he and his wife Lauren all the best in this new endeavor.”
The 2013 Broyles Award Finalist was in charge of the some of the most explosive offenses in Auburn history, specifically with Nick Marshall at quarterback during the 13-14 seasons. He had spent years under the tutelage of Malzahn, which came to a head this past season as the head coach gave his protégé the keys to his offense and left all the play calling to him.
It seemed to be the potion that Auburn needed at first, with the Tigers rolling off six straight wins, but an injury to quarterback Sean White handicapped the offense, with Auburn losing three out of its last four games, including the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma.
With former Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham arriving on campus and the frontrunner to be the starter under center next season, Lashlee was expected to groom the young passer, but instead, will be coaching under Randy Edsall, who has returned to the Huskies program after leaving it for Maryland in 2010.