Well, that certainly didn’t long.
Shortly after we posted that the Tennessee Titans were “very much interested” in one of Gene Chizik‘s assistants, the NFL club confirmed the hiring. And now the Auburn head coach will be forced to do something he hasn’t had to do during his two-plus years with the Tigers — replace a member of his coaching staff.
The Titans announced Wednesday afternoon that they have hired Tracy Rocker to be new head coach Mike Munchak‘s defensive line coach.
“This is something that I dreamed about, reaching the top of the line in the football world,” said Rocker in a statement. “Growing up you dream about playing in the NFL and once I made the transition to the coaching world, this was the ultimate goal. Now it is up to me to prove myself at this level. I realize I have big shoes to fill and have a lot of respect for Coach Washburn and what he got from his players. There is nothing that says you can’t follow up a great coach with another great coach and that is what I will work to achieve.”
Rocker spent two seasons at his alma mater coaching the line, and was widely hailed as the most influential force in turning Nick Fairley into both a consensus All-American and potential overall No. 1 pick in the April NFL draft.
“The last two years have been an unbelievable experience with the opportunity to coach at my alma mater and help the program win a national championship,” Rocker said. “It’s always been a goal of mine to coach in the NFL and this is a tremendous opportunity that I could not pass up.
“I’m very grateful to Coach (Gene) Chizik, the Auburn administration and the entire Auburn family for what the last two years have meant to me and my family,” Rocker said. “I’ve been fortunate to have a great group of players to coach and mentor, and it is very difficult to leave them. Auburn is a special place because the fans are the greatest in the world. I’m appreciative for all of their support during my time as a player and as a coach.”
It’s unclear which direction Chizik will go for a replacement.