Mike Pelton, an All-SEC defensive lineman for Auburn in the mid-'90s, has been hired as the Tigers' new defensive line coach, the school confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m very excited and humbled to return to Auburn and be a part of what coach (Gene) Chizik and his staff have built during the last two years,” Pelton said. “I look forward to working with a young defensive line and getting them ready to compete next season. Auburn has always had a special place in my heart and it’s been my goal to coach at my alma mater."
Pelton, 39, replaces Tracy Rocker, who joined the Tennessee Titans' staff last month.
Pelton was Chizik's defensive line coach at Iowa State from 2007-08. Before that, he coached at Troy under Larry Blakeney for six years, the last two as co-defensive coordinator.
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"He’s a great coach, a tireless worker and an outstanding recruiter who has mentored some very good players, including NFL standouts Demarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora, both whom are from Auburn," Chizik said. "Mike is very familiar with the state and region, and he knows what it takes to coach and recruit in the Southeastern Conference."
He spent last year at Vanderbilt. After the staff was let go following the season, he joined Louisiana-Lafayette.
A Gadsden, Ala., native, Pelton played at Auburn from 1991-94. He was a co-captain his senior season, earning All-SEC honors. He was a fifth-round pick by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1995.
He graduated from Auburn in 1995 with a degree in Health & Sports Science. He and his wife, Staci, have three daughters: Myesa, 14; Tyra, 11; and Peyton, 1.