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Is Paul Rhoads the Next Auburn Defensive Coordinator?

By Jay Coulter

WJOX in Birmingham is reporting that Pittsburgh Panthers assistant coach Paul Rhoads will be named Auburn’s new defensive coordinator.

Meanwhile, Tommy Tuberville remains mum on the subject other than to say the hiring should happen sometime this week.

Rhoads makes a lot of sense.  It was rumored that Rhoads accepted the job back in 2002, only to back out once he returned home to Pittsburgh. Those close to Tuberville say he thinks very highly of the 40 year-old assistant.

It’s believed that he’s been at the top of Tuberville’s wish list from the start. Whether or not he’s actually accepted is still not known, but it’s becoming clear that he’s Tuberville’s first choice.

Rhoads has spent the past seven seasons as defensive coordinator at the Big East school.  In addition to serving as coordinator, he also serves as position coach for the linebackers. Rhoads has also served as an assistant at Ohio State and Iowa State.

In 2006, he was named by The Sporting News as the best defensive coordinator in the Big East Conference.

We do know one thing about him. Rhoads knows how to beat West Virginia.  That should come in handy next season.

Other candidates mentioned for the job include Jacksonville Jaguars assistant Dave Campo, former Duke coach Ted Roof and San Diego Chargers linebacker coach John Pagano.

If a coordinator is not named by this weekend, you can expect a lot of focus to be on Pagano. His Chargers face New England in the AFC Championship game on Sunday. My guess is he’ll have a lot more free time on Monday.