Travis Williams

AP Photo/Butch Dill

Auburn tabs linebackers coach as interim defensive coordinator


Following the loss of one-year defensive coordinator Will Muschamp to South Carolina, Auburn has named linebackers coach Lance Thompson its interim defensive coordinator for the Birmingham Bowl.

He’s familiar with our defense, he’s a veteran guy and these guys will work very closely together,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said Monday following a practice session. “That had a lot to do with it.”

Thompson joined the Auburn staff this season. The last time he took on the role of a defensive coordinator was in 2004 through 2006 at UCF. This may be an open audition for the job, as he has reportedly expressed interest in being Auburn’s defensive coordinator moving forward. The search for a full-time replacement will continue, with no promises Thompson will be in the running for the job. Thompson will have his work cut out for him, as Auburn is preparing to face a dangerous offensive team in Memphis. Memphis will be playing the game after losing head coach Justin Fuente to Virginia Tech.

The loss of Muschamp caused a few staff adjustments in preparation for the bowl game. In addition to Thompson taking on the interim defensive coordinator role, graduate assistant Travis Williams will take over as linebackers coach and graduate assistant Blake Gideon will coach the secondary.

Muschamp accepted a role as head coach at South Carolina.