With Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee now at UConn, these are five possible replacements head coach Gus Malzahn may take a look at.
For the longest time, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee seemed like a package deal. After all, Lashlee had been under the tutelage of Malzahn since playing quarterback for him in high school.
Now, with Lashlee accepting the coordinator position at Connecticut, Malzahn will have a new assistant calling plays.
Will Malzahn look for a coach that runs the system he personally built and schemed, or will he go the other way and find a proven coach who can install his own system? My feeling is that it will be the former. This Tigers’ squad is built for the hurry up, no huddle offense, especially with Jarrett Stidham taking the reins at quarterback and a powerful running game returning to the backfield.
The next question is obviously who will that person be. Here are five potential candidates that Malzahn might consider for the offensive coordinator position.
Lindsey spent time as an analyst on Malzahn’s staff in 2013. Before that, he was a high school coach at some prominent places in the state of Alabama, most notably Hoover, where he worked under Rush Propst. Now the offensive coordinator at Arizona State, Lindsey has a knack for developing quarterbacks and a knowledge of the landscape.
Auburn legend and a fan favorite, Craig was part of Malzahn’s staff from 2013-16 as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach before leaving for LSU last February. He’s a long shot considering his lack of in-game play-calling, but would be a welcomed hire by the Tigers faithful.
The recently fired Oregon head coach would be a home run hire for Auburn. Serving as the offensive coordinator under Chip Kelly from 2009-12, Helfrich was in charge of some of the most explosive offenses in college football. The Ducks production didn’t stop when he took over as head coach, either. The hire would also be a counterpunch to Alabama, whose past two offensive coordinators have been former Pac-12 head coaches.
He knows the offense inside and out, having worked alongside Malzahn at Tulsa and now as Auburn’s offensive line coach. Hiring from within would also be a big deal for the players, as no new lingo or schemes would be introduced.
Gran was on Auburn’s staff for the 10 years while Tommy Tuberville was head coach. He earned his first offensive coordinator job under Tuberville at Cincinnati before being hired for the same position at Kentucky heading into last season. The ties he has to high school coaches in Alabama and Georgia would be key in recruiting.