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Auburn swipes long-time UGA assistant

Rodney Garner Getty Images

For 14 years and 11 months, Rodney Garner had been a member of the Georgia coaching staff.  Somewhat stunningly, that run has ended less than a month shy of its 15th anniversary — and ended by a school in UGA’s conference, no less.

With a “Welcome Home, Coach Rodney Garner” tweet late Thursday night, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs confirmed that the longtime Bulldogs assistant has been hired as the latest addition to Gus Malzahn‘s first coaching staff.  The school subsequently sent out a release making Garner’s hiring as assistant head coach/defensive line coach officially official.

“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 was a football player at Auburn from 1984-1988 and served as an assistant at his alma mater from 1993-95.  He was hired by then-UGA head coach in January of 1998 as DL coach and recruiting coordinator.  “Assistant head coach” was added to Garner’s title in 2005.

“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.”

As noted by Gentry Estes of, this is the first assistant coaching vacancy for Mark Richt since February of 2011.

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12 Responses to “Auburn swipes long-time UGA assistant”
  1. woebegong says: Dec 21, 2012 12:13 AM

    He can say what he wants, but a sizeable raise is what got him moving to Auburn after 15 years at UGA. Auburn was willing to pay for the change since, he might drag a few recruits over to Auburn from this years group of recruits. He will have his job cut out for him, trying to turn things around, if the new HC, can’t turn around the team quickly. There is a lot of work for him to do, but I wish him luck at his new job.

  2. kozbee says: Dec 21, 2012 12:19 AM

    This is huge for Auburn family and you fans,Garner will be a great asset to the school.Agreat recruiter that imo will pull some great talent to the Tigers.WARR DAMM EAGLE to you Auburn fans. Heres a bit more info on the great catch Auburn got in Rodney Garner.

  3. ocon171 says: Dec 21, 2012 12:30 AM

    As a dawg fan it is the timing that kills us. the loss can be replaced in the future but hurts us with M Adams and toby this year

  4. kozbee says: Dec 21, 2012 12:51 AM

    @ ocon171

    Was looking like Matthews might pull Foster to the Dawgs,but now Georgia might lose getting Foster and losing Matthews.Garner is a good coach and will be missed in Georgia.Goodluck.

  5. cowbulls says: Dec 21, 2012 1:10 AM

    Some how UGA needs to adjust the staff and work in Hines Ward.

  6. ocon171 says: Dec 21, 2012 1:14 AM

    I’m not sure there’s a huge crg and Matthews connection. I think Matthews is sticking with the G

  7. houndofthebaskervols says: Dec 21, 2012 2:01 AM


    Great hire. Hell Kiffin offered him 375K to leave UGA a few years ago, I figured Garner would retire in Athens. Way to go Gus.

  8. novoodoo4409 says: Dec 21, 2012 6:57 AM

    ^^^^ @ the Awbarn “family” comment above – do you know how stupid tht sounds! The “family”? America laughs at you…but then again, this is n Alabammy school…roll war tide eagle darn…

  9. gatiger says: Dec 21, 2012 7:03 AM

    Great Hire. UGA defensive backs are always great. As a recruiter he is top notch. Auburn (and many many other schools) have been after him forever.

  10. woebegong says: Dec 21, 2012 7:14 AM

    Actually, Garner was the DL coach for UGA, not the DB coach.

  11. floridacock says: Dec 21, 2012 2:42 PM

    Surprised with that much experience he has not been offered a head coaching position, that he wanted.

  12. ajonesmc931 says: Dec 21, 2012 9:02 PM

    @Noovoodoo. Intelligent comment. America is laughing at you. Imbecile.

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