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Auburn’s New Coordinators: What We Should Know

It’s not official, but these are the guys.

NCAA Football: Tulsa at Houston Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Since Hugh Freeze was hired as Auburn’s head coach, there have been some things in motion. But before we go much further, let’s clear the air.

We wrote an article the day that Freeze was hired outlining why John Cohen should not hire him. I stand by the contents of that piece still. However, what’s done is done, and he’s the head coach at Auburn for the foreseeable future. Cadillac Williams has been retained, it looks like Zac Etheridge is going to be retained, and there are a few hires that have been noted but not officially listed anywhere yet. As far as our disdain for Freeze, it’ll stand, and there’s a ton of work he’ll have to do to earn trust. Winning games quickly is a huge part of it, especially because we’re hiring a version of the same guy we paid $21M to go away two years ago. What’s bigger is that there had better be absolutely zero embarrassments, whether personal or public, while he’s at Auburn. If those two things go hand in hand, we can at the very least hold our nose.

Now, as far as the staff goes, nothing’s official. If you look at the coaching staff roster on the Auburn athletics website, there are only six coaches listed. Along with Freeze, it’s Cadillac as RB/AHC, Joe Bernardi as Tight Ends coach, Zac with the DBs (also Associate Head Coach), Christian Robinson with the Linebackers, and Kendall Simmons at the OL. That’s it.

According to reports, however, we’ve got our next coordinators on both sides of the ball.

Ron Roberts, former defensive coordinator at Baylor, is the next up to run our defense on the Plains. While his hire hasn’t been announced by the University, Twitter knows best.

Roberts was the defensive coordinator at Baylor for three seasons under Dave Aranda, and while he was let go after this past year, he had plenty of success in Waco. In 2021, he concocted a top ten scoring defense, and led the Big 12 in defensive scores and turnovers forced. While we thought that Jeff Grimes was a candidate for the head coaching job here, it turned out that we got his counterpart on defense to come aboard. In 2022, Baylor’s defense slipped a good bit, and he was let go.

He brings in a scheme that contains what he likes to call “creepers”, which builds in two-high safety looks that can be used in certain long-distance situations and third downs. It allows for more simulated looks up front, and can help with his defense, which likes to run out of multiple formations. We should see plenty of 4-2-5 and 3-3-5 looks out of his scheme.

The same goes for the offense, where former Tulsa head coach Philip Montgomery has announced that he’s going to be coming to Auburn, even if there’s nothing official from the school yet.

Here’s where things get interesting. Montgomery’s record at Tulsa is bleh, but some people just aren’t cut out to be head coaches. The reason he got the job with the Golden Hurricanes is because he led the best offense in the country for a few years at Baylor. He was co-OC from 2007-2011, and full-time OC from 2012-2014. Let’s take a look at some particulars during that period.


  • Points Per Game: 1st
  • Passing Yards Per Game: 4th
  • Rushing Yards Per Game: 29th
  • Total Yards Per Game: 1st
  • First Downs Per Game: 1st
  • Turnovers Per Game: 11th
  • Total Plays Per Game: 1st


  • Points Per Game: 1st
  • Passing Yards Per Game: 5th
  • Rushing Yards Per Game: 12th
  • Total Yards Per Game: 1st
  • First Downs Per Game: 2nd
  • Turnovers Per Game: 21st
  • Total Plays Per Game: 6th


  • Points Per Game: 4th
  • Passing Yards Per Game: 4th
  • Rushing Yards Per Game: 14th
  • Total Yards Per Game: 2nd
  • First Downs Per Game: 5th
  • Turnovers Per Game: 82nd
  • Total Plays Per Game: 6th

Let’s not forget to mention that the year before he got the gig all by himself, he was the quarterback coach for Robert Griffin III, who won the Heisman in 2011. They finished 4th nationally in scoring that season as well.

Here’s a great writeup on the Baylor offense that he took to Tulsa during his time as head coach, and you can see that he creates opportunities for nearly everyone in the lineup. When we saw previous offenses at Auburn have to fixate on one running back, or a couple of wide receivers, this shouldn’t be the case with Montgomery’s scheme. During his three seasons as full-time OC at Baylor, he had four receivers catch 1,000+ yards of passes, including an 1,800-yard season from Terrance Williams in 2012. With our decrepit receiving records, you may have some guys in the stands a little confused at what they’re seeing.

Of course, this is all dependent on how Hugh Freeze wants to run the show. Is he calling plays? Is he letting Montgomery do the work and he becomes more of a CEO? That’ll be important. If Hugh’s making the calls, we may unfortunately be seeing quite a bit of what we got frustrated with at the end of Gus’ tenure, instead of a passing game that we couldn’t believe could be so easy to execute when watching Baylor play.

Either way, we’re really leaning into these new Baylor roots. Let’s hope that we can replicate the success the Bears had a decade ago.