New Auburn offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey didn’t have any reservations about a return to the Plains.
Lindsey arrived at Auburn Arena following the team’s 84-64 win over Alabama Saturday fresh off a plane with his family.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn introduced the program’s new offensive coordinator in a press conference after the game.
For Lindsey, it’s a homecoming on a number of fronts as a native of Alabama and where he’s spent the majority of his coaching career. The assistant also previously worked for Malzahn at Auburn as an offensive analyst in 2013.
“This is really a dream come true, growing up in this state, being around this state and college football, and my wife and her family had season tickets for 30 years,” Lindsey said. “Auburn’s been a special place to us, and obviously being here in 2013 with coach, getting that opportunity, but just extremely excited to get going.”
Lindsey, who spent last season working for Todd Graham at Arizona State, credited Malzahn for being an influential figure when the assistant was trying to make the transition from high school to college.
“I came to Auburn in 2013 for the reason to be with Coach Malzahn and see how he did things because my background had been a little different,” Lindsey said. “The time here was amazing, learning how he thought and game-planned and did things, and took a lot of those things with us.”
Malzahn said Lindsey fit three key criteria in what he described as a nation-wide search that included an undisclosed number of “very talented people.”
“I just felt like I needed to find somebody that could develop and evaluate quarterbacks,” Malzahn said. “Felt like I needed somebody that I would feel comfortable turning over the offense to. I felt like I needed somebody that had a fit within the same philosophy: no huddle, run/play-action. That’s really where I started.”
Malzahn approached the 10-day search with an “open-mind,” but came back to Lindsey as someone who checked all the boxes.
“At the end of the day, Chip Lindsey is the guy that fit these three that I felt very comfortable with and gives us the best chance of being successful,” Malzahn said.
While Lindsey didn’t arrive on campus until after tipoff, he basically stepped onto the recruiting trail the minute the press conference ended.
The program is in the midst of an important weekend recruiting with more than 10 top prospects on campus for official visits including a pair of 5-stars — offensive lineman Calvin Ashley and linebacker T.D. Moultry.
The group spent Saturday afternoon in the stands alongside a large contingent of Auburn coaches and players including Malzahn, Kodi Burns, Herb Hand, transfer quarterback Jarrett Stidham, Chandler Cox and Kam Martin.
“I’m ready to start right now, and as soon as we get done here—we just got in town—we’re going to get started on 2017,” Lindsey said with a smile.