Rhett Lashlee doesn’t sound like he has any doubts about leaving his former job behind.
Lashlee joined Sports Talk with Bo Mattingly Thursday afternoon — a radio program based in the assistant’s home state of Arkansas — to discuss leaving Auburn for the same position at UConn where he be taking a substantial pay cut ($250,000).
“Sometimes perception doesn’t always meet reality to people, you can’t always worry about what everybody thinks and what things look like,” Lashlee said. “At the end of the day, it was an opportunity to grow and develop as a coach.”
While Lashlee took over play calling duties from coach Gus Malazahn three weeks into the 2016 season, the assistant wanted to run his own offense — a sentiment he shared with multiple outlets Wednesday night and again Thursday.
“I could go on and on about the success we (Auburn) had, but at I think at the end of the day we all have our career aspirations and goals and places we want to be,” Lashlee said. “Sometimes you have to make tough decisions to maybe put yourself in position to take the next step.”
While Lashlee acknowledged he has an eye on becoming a head coach down the line, the decision to leave Auburn was more about getting “out of his comfort zone” than generating future employment possibilities.
“I’m not necessarily itching to do it (becoming a head coach) tomorrow, I’m not trying to get ahead of myself,” Lashlee said. “I’m just trying to do the best job I can with the job I have now.”
As for terms of Lashlee’s new contract, the assistant downplayed the pay cut he’s taking to make what amounts to a lateral move.
"Sometimes you have to sacrifice a little bit now for what could be more later,” Lashlee said.