“Do you want it done right, or do you want it done right now?”
That’s long been one of Bryan Harsin’s mantras and an idea in action that Auburn fans have experienced over the past few weeks while the Tigers new head coach built out his 2021 coaching staff. That long and not very visible process is finally complete with the hiring of Memphis linebackers coach and former Fresno State defensive coordinator Bert Watts.
Source: Auburn is expected to hire Bert Watts to round out Bryan Harsin's on-field staff. Watts spent last season as Memphis' linebackers coach, and before that was Fresno State's DC for two seasons.— Tom Green (@Tomas_Verde) January 21, 2021
He will reportedly serve as Auburn’s OLB coach and special teams coordinator in 2021.
Watts played at Cal in the early 2000s leading the team in tackles in 2002. He bounced around to a number of different gigs early in his career including stints in high school in Florida and the NFL before landing the DC job at UC Davis. He was hired to coach linebackers at Fresno State in 2017 and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2018. That season, the Bulldogs finished ranked #12 on defense per SP+ on their way to a Mountain West Championship which included a victory of Bryan Harsin in the title game.
That also means that Auburn fan favorite and long time linebacker coach Travis Williams will not be returning to the Plains this fall. It will be interesting to see where T-WILL lands especially if it’s in the SEC. New coaches Jeff Schmedding and Bert Watts will be under a lot of scrutiny from Auburn fans heading into the 2022 recruiting cycle.
Here’s the final breakdown of Auburn’s 2021 on field coaching staff.
- Head Coach: Bryan Harsin
- Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks: Mike Bobo
- Running Backs: Carnell Williams
- Wide Receivers: Cornelius Williams
- Tight Ends: Brad Bedell
- Offensive Line: Will Friend
- Defensive Coordinator/Safeties: Derek Mason
- Run Game Coordinator/Inside Linebackers: Jeff Schmedding
- Defensive Line: Tracy Rocker
- Outside Linebackers/Special Teams Coordinator: Bert Watts
- Cornerbacks: Zac Etheridge