Rich Basaccia has decided to leave Auburn to "pursue other opportunities." It Basiccia is headed back to the NFL, as he is believed to be the lead candidate to be named Dallas Cowboys' special teams coach.
Rich is moving on, wish him the best. Plan is Horton to RBs, Fountain to ST/TEs— Coach Gus Malzahn (@CoachGusMalzahn) January 25, 2013
In recent days, rumors started to swirl that Jerry Jones and the Cowboys had made Bisaccia a significant offer to be special teams coordinator. For most coaches, it would be a no-brainer to double their salary and take an NFL position over a college assistant post. However, there was a reason Bisaccia took the job at Auburn in the first place when his reputation would seem to assure him of ample opportunities in the NFL. Alas, after taking a few days to mull the offer, Bisaccia decided to move on, presumably to accept the position in Dallas, although that has not been confirmed. If he was given an offer too good to pass up, then you can't blame him for pursuing it.
Malzahn announced via Twitter that Tim Horton will take over as running backs coach. Horton was a long-time running backs coach at Arkansas before taking the Auburn job. Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and Knile Davis are among the elite SEC running backs that have been under Horton's tutelage. McFadden was a heisman finalist, and both he and Felix Jones are starting NFL backs.
Horton is the only coach in the SEC to have coached four different 1,000 yard rushers. In other words, he knows his way around coaching the position. He's also an excellent recruiter. In the end, Auburn will not miss a beat with Horton handling the RB's instead of Bisaccia.
Scott Fountain was named tight ends and special teams coach. Fountain has served as Auburn's player personnel director for the past four years. During that time, he has been involved in all aspects of recruiting and assisted with the day-to-day operations. He knows the culture and what it takes to succeed on the Plains, and he has plenty of prior coaching experience and is well thought of as an assistant coach. Fountain is an excellent recruiter, having served as recruiting coordinator at several stops in his career. His move to an on-field coaching position should be a seamless transition.
While it may hurt to lose Bisaccia, Auburn is in good shape for the short and long term.
Dusty Miller contributed to this post.