Auburn announced the hiring of Rich Bisaccia as the new assistant head football coach earlier Thursday. Bisaccia spent the last 11 seasons coaching in the NFL, most recently as the special teams and assistant head coach for the San Diego Chargers. He will coach special teams and running backs for Auburn.
Like most of Gus Malzahn's hires so far, Bisaccia brings a wealth of experience to the Plains:
- 1983 - Defensive Backs and Special Teams, Wayne State
- 1984 -1987 - Quarterbacks and Recievers, Wayne State
- 1988 - Tight Ends and Wide Receivers, South Carolina
- 1989 - 1990 - Defensive Ends and Special Teams, South Carolina
- 1991 - Tight Ends and Special Teams, South Carolina
- 1992 - 1993 - Running Backs and Special Teams, South Carolina
- 1994 - 1998 - Running Backs and Special Teams, Clemson
- 1999 - Running Backs and Special Teams, Ole Miss
- 2000 - 2001 - Assistant Head Coach, Running Backs and Special Teams, Ole Miss
- 2002 - 2007 - Special Teams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 2008 - Associate Head Coach, Special Teams, Running Backs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 2009 - 2010 - Associate Head Coach and Special Teams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- 2011 - Special Teams, San Diego Chargers
- 2012 - Assistant Head Coach, Special Teams, San Diego Chargers
Bisaccia is highly thought of by his players and one of the most respected assistants in the NFL. He is regarded by many as one of the top special teams coaches in the NFL, and some believed he would be a candidate in the near future for NFL and/or college head coaching positions. His addition to this staff at Auburn gives Malzahn instant credibility as a head coach, if his previous assistant hires hadn't already.
Bisaccia's name was being pushed by Jon Gruden a couple of years ago when the Tennessee Titans were looking for a new coach.
"I coached a long time, he's one of the best coaches I've worked with and I'm not just trying to be his agent or publicity manager. He's a tremendous football coach, great with players, smart, works his butt off. I'd hire him as a head coach. If I was in position to interview people and look for quality candidates and he's certainly one of the best I've been around."
"Special teams guys -- he's not an offensive coach or a defensive coach, he's kind of a wefence guy. He was my running backs coach, special teams coordinator, jack of all trades. He's very good at personnel; he's got a vast amount of experience. I hope he does get an opportunity to present himself. Sometimes that's all people need is a chance to get in front of the people that are making these decisions."
An article in the Tampa Bay Times lays out some pretty powerful endorsements from some former Buccaneers about Bisaccia's credentials as a candidate when the Bucs job last came open.
You say you want a coach with passion. You say you want a tireless worker. You say you want a man with integrity.
"Rich Bisaccia,'' said Jon Gruden.
You say you want a coach with people skills. You say you want a coach who has spent some time around the NFL. You say you want a coach who can flash his Super Bowl ring in the face of a recruit.
"Rich Bisaccia,'' said Derrick Brooks.
You say you want a coach who can motivate the star player and the backup. You say you want a coach who is familiar with the program. You say you want a coach who makes players want to play for him.
"Rich Bisaccia,'' said Warren Sapp.
There's no question that this is a "home run" hire, to use the tired cliche. Bisaccia has a great reputation within the coaching community. Couple that with his NFL experience and a Super Bowl ring from 2002, and Bisaccia should be a great asset on the sidelines and on the recruiting trail. With Jay Boulware leaving behind a stellar special teams squad at Auburn, Malzahn needed to find a great replacement, and he's more than accomplished that with this hire. What's more, Bisaccia's experience as an NFL running backs coach will be a major plus when he's sitting in the living rooms of the next big blue chip running back recruit.
All in all, Bisaccia is another solid addition to Malzahn's staff.
Dusty Miller contributed to this post.