AUBURN, Ala. -- Phillip Lolley has decided to step down as Auburn’s cornerbacks coach and return to an administrative capacity within the football program.
A search for Lolley’s replacement will begin immediately, according to a news release Tuesday from Auburn.
“We appreciate Coach Lolley and the contributions he has made to the Auburn football program in his various roles over the years,” head coach Gene Chizik said.
Lolley, 57, has been Auburn’s cornerbacks coach for three years under Chizik.
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Hired by former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville as a strength and conditioning coach in 1999, Lolley was promoted to secondary coach a year later, and he served in that capacity until 2003, when he left the field to become Auburn’s director of NFL relations.
Lolley served in that capacity for five years before Chizik brought him back to the field in 2009 as part of his original coaching staff.
Under Lolley’s direction, Auburn’s cornerbacks produced a fifth-round draft pick in Walter McFadden (2010) and another NFL signee in Demond Washington, but the Tigers also struggled in pass coverage. In 2010 and 2011, the Tigers ranked 76th and 86th, respectively, in pass efficiency defense.
Lolley’s new position with Auburn’s football program was not specified.
“We look forward to him continuing to help with the program’s success in his new capacity,” Chizik said.
Lolley is the third Auburn assistant coach to leave his position with the Tigers this offseason. Former defensive coordinator Ted Roof resigned in December to take the same position at Central Florida and later Penn State, and former offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn left to become the head coach at Arkansas State.
Chizik hired former Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder and Temple offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler to replace Roof and Malzahn, respectively.
No names officially have surfaced in the search for Lolley’s replacement yet.
Given his background, one coach who could be a candidate is former Georgia defensive coordinator Willie Martinez, who served as Georgia’s secondary coach when VanGorder was the defensive coordinator in Athens. Martinez resigned as Oklahoma’s secondary coach in January.