War Eagle and Welcome Paul Rhoads

source: auburnsports.com

It took nearly two weeks but Tommy Tuberville has finally found a replacement for Will Muschamp.

Auburn is expected to announce the hiring of Pittsburgh’s Paul Rhoads as its new defensive coordinator. The position came open Jan. 4 when Muschamp accepted the defensive coordinator position at Texas.

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Rhoads will be AU’s fourth DC in the last five years.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review first reported that Rhoads had accepted the position, which was later confirmed by AuburnSports.com through a source within the Pitt athletic department. The source said Rhoads informed the Pitt players of his decision this morning.

Rhoads was in Auburn Wednesday where he met with Tuberville and was offered the position.

The official announcement from Auburn should come within the next 24 to 48 hours once Rhoads’ paperwork is cleared.

Rhoads, who’s served as Pitt’s defensive coordinator the past eight seasons, will become Tuberville’s fifth defensive coordinator at Auburn. The 40-year old Rhoads nearly accepted the position in 2002 but had a last minute change of heart and the position eventually went to current Iowa State head coach Gene Chizik.

Rhoads is expected to more than double his salary at Auburn. He made approximately $180,000 at Pittsburgh.

Some of Auburn’s current staff has connections to Rhoads. AU defensive tackles coach Don Dunn and Andy Lutz, assistant to the head coach, both worked with Rhoads at Pacific in the early 1990′s.

Rhoads guided a Pittsburgh defense that finished No. 5 in the nation in total defense this season. Rhoads coached the Pittsburgh secondary for the first seven years before switching to linebackers this season.

He’s expected to coach the secondary as well as coordinate the defense at Auburn.

Rhoads has a total of 19 years of college coaching experience. Prior to joining the Pitt staff, he coached the secondary at Iowa State for five seasons.

Pantherlair editor Chris Peak contributed to this story.

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