Auburn names Ellis Johnson defensive coordinator
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn has hired former Southern Miss coach Ellis Johnson as defensive coordinator. New Tigers coach Gus Malzahn announced Johnson’s hiring Thursday two days after getting the job. Johnson was fired after Southern Miss went 0-12 in his lone season, but has an impressive track record running Southeastern Conference defenses. He has been defensive coordinator at South Carolina, Clemson, Alabama and Mississippi State. His final Gamecocks defense ranked third nationally in yards allowed and second-best against the pass. Malzahn called Johnson “one of the top defensive minds in all of college football.” The Tigers had a frequently shuffling lineup on defense last season. They finished 80th nationally in total defense, giving up 420.5 yards a game. Malzahn told Gene Chizik’s assistants on Wednesday that they wouldn’t be retained.