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Ex-Auburn Coach Rocker Doesn’t Regret Pro Move

In the aftermath of January’s BCS Championship Game, only one national champion assistant decided to pick up and leave Auburn.  That man happened to be an Auburn grad.

But new Tennessee Titans defensive line coach Tracy Rocker isn’t looking back on his decision with regret.

“After coaching 17 years of college ball I have aspirations as a coach, and it’s not just to sit there at my alma mater and just be there,” Rocker told The Tennessean.  “At Auburn, I’d already had success as a player and then to come in an win the SEC and national championship in my second year, and to have (Nick Fairley) win the Lombardi Award… my wife kind of asked me, ‘What else do you think you need to do at Auburn?’ and I aid, ‘I don’t know’

“All of a sudden, this thing happens with the Titans, so I guess that was the new calling.  For me, it’s definitely a dream come true.”

Rocker also made it clear that he won’t spend much time missing recruiting.

“You stay out on the road a lot, and then when you’re in meetings, if a kid calls, you’ve got to take the call.  You can’t say, ‘We’ll get you some other time.”

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Pelton Takes Rocker’s Old Job At Auburn

Looks like Auburn will replace one ex-Tiger on its coaching staff with another.  Last week, Louisville assistant Clint Hurtt announced that he was going to stay with the Cardinals and not take the defensive line coach’s position once held down by Tracy Rocker (who left AU for the NFL).  Now former Auburn lineman Mike Pelton will fill that slot.

According to The Opelika-Auburn News, Pelton “will be the Tigers’ next defensive line coach.” Pelton played at Auburn in the early-to-mid-90s.  He was on Gene Chizik’s staff at Iowa State.  The last two years he has been on the staff at Vanderbilt.  When the folks in Nashville cleaned house this offseason, Pelton landed at Louisiana-Lafayette.

Now he’ll be making a return to his alma mater.

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D-Line Coach Hurtt Chooses The ‘Ville Over The Plains

Louisville defensive line coach Clint Hurtt — ESPN’s National Recruiter of the Year this year — will be staying at Louisville and not joining Auburn’s coaching staff.

“Big news!! The big hurtt is staying with the cardinals,” tweeted U of L coach Charlie Strong today.  Hurtt took part in a much-publicized interview session with Auburn yesterday.

Auburn is looking for a replacement for former D-line coach Tracy Rocker who left AU for a job with the Tennessee Titans.  Former Minnesota assistant Tim Cross is expected to meet with Gene Chizik in the near future, if he hasn’t already.

When Rocker left, we suggested that finding a replacement might be a tad tougher than expected due to the NCAA’s ongoing look-see into the Tiger program.  Now maybe Hurtt and Chizik didn’t hit it off or maybe an offer was never made or maybe we’re just adding 2 + 2 and coming up with five… but one does have to wonder why a coach at Louisville would turn down the opportunity (if it was offered) to move to Auburn, the home of the defending national champs.  Doesn’t one?

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Done Deal: Titans Hire Auburn’s Rocker

For the first time since he took over at Auburn, Gene Chizik will have to replace an assistant coach.  The Tennessee Titans officially hired AU defensive line coach Tracy Rocker this afternoon.

Now Chizik will have to lure someone else to The Plains to serve as the Tigers’ D-line coach.  The hire could be a tricky one.  There’s no question Auburn is a big-time program with big-time money to dangle.  But it’s also been connected to a big-time scandal in recent months.

We’re not suggesting Chizik won’t land whoever he decides to go after, but whoever he decides to go after might ask a few questions about Cam Newton before he signs on the dotted line.

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AU’s Rocker Has Talked With Titans

It seems Gene Chizik is in danger of losing an assistant coach this offseason after all.  Auburn defensive line coach Tracy Rocker has talked with the Tennessee Titans about their open D-line job.

New Titans coach Mike Munchak said this morning on WJOX-FM in Birmingham that “we’ve talked with him and we’re real excited about him.”

“Obviously, he’s done a great job as a player and now he’s worked hi way up through the ranks of coaching, and he’s coming off a national championship at Auburn.  He’d be a great fit for any organization. … We need a great defensive line coach, and he’d fit that bill, so I’m very much interested in him.”

Talk about the hard sell.  Munchak is kissing some serious public rear when it comes to Rocker.  For that reason, Chizik had better take out his checkbook or his Rolodex.

Rocker — who won the 1988 Lombardi Trophy while playing at Auburn — joined Chizik’s staff last season, coming over from Ole Miss.  Remarkably, there has been no turnover on Chizik’s staff since he arrived on The Plains two seasons ago.

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Iron Bowl: ‘From then on, they knew we were coming after them’

Just days before his final Iron Bowl in 1988, Tracy Rocker made a promise to his brother, David.
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