April 20, 2014

Swinney, Malzahn comment on Harbison’s move

Swinney is looking for a new secondary coach

Clemson and Auburn issued official releases Sunday regarding Auburn’s hiring of Clemson’s co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Charlie Harbison to the same positions at Auburn.

Harbison spent four seasons with the Tigers during which time he helped Dabo Swinney to 36 victories.  “I want to thank Charlie Harbison for a great job the last four years,” said Swinney. “He has helped us immensely in all phases. He has been a tireless recruiter and coach who has represented this program with class. He is one of the most respected coaches in the business and we wish him well.”

Harbison once worked at Alabama with new Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson and the two have been close friends for years.

“Charlie needs just a short period of time to be vested from a retirement standpoint in the state of Alabama and we understand it is a move that makes sense for he and his family,” said Swinney.

“Charlie is an outstanding coach and recruiter and we’re excited to have him join our staff,” Malzahn said in his release. “He’s very familiar with Coach Ellis Johnson, having coached together on two different staffs, which will be a tremendous asset to our defense. He is a true professional and one of the class guys in college coaching.”

Swinney announced Sunday that Wesley Goodwin, who had worked in defensive research development, would move on the field to coach the secondary in the interim period. Graduate assistant Brian Mance will also continue to work with the secondary.

“We have begun the process to look for a new secondary coach. In the interim period Wesley will be on the field working with the secondary.”

One potential candidate who can be scratched is Tommy Thigpen.  The former Auburn secondary coach was hired Sunday by Tennessee.