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Auburn coach Gus Malzahn not interested in detailing search for defensive coordinator

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2015 file photo, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn walks off the field with his head down in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Alabama, in Auburn, Ala. Malzahn's tasks leading up to the Birmingham Bowl against Memphis include replacing Will Muschamp as defensive coordinator and secondary coach Travaris Robinson, who went with the new South Carolina head man.
FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2015 file photo, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn walks off the field with his head down in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Alabama, in Auburn, Ala. Malzahn's tasks leading up to the Birmingham Bowl against Memphis include replacing Will Muschamp as defensive coordinator and secondary coach Travaris Robinson, who went with the new South Carolina head man. AP Photo

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn isn’t interested in discussing any of the specifics related to his search for a third defensive coordinator in as many years.

Candidates? Timeline? Staff decisions?

“I’m not going to get into that,” Malzahn said.

Linebackers coach Lance Thompson’s name has come up as a potential candidate to replace Muschamp, but Malzahn has declined to say if he would be considered or interviewed for the position on two occasions.

The timeline remains “sooner rather than later,” but Malzahn isn’t putting pressure on himself to hire someone before the bowl game. 

Malzahn said his focus has been split the last two weeks between the search and recruiting.

The NCAA dead period for recruiting starts Monday and runs until Jan. 13 and will allow Malzahn to turn his full attention to hiring a new defensive coordinator.

During a dead period, no in-person contact is allowed between recruits and coaches.

“You think about the timetable, we just got off the road recruiting yesterday,” Malzahn said. “We’ve been getting after that pretty good and so this is the first day that we’ve been off the road so no, I feel good about our timetable and feel good about getting the right guy.”

Despite reports Malzahn showed heavy interest in Florida defensive coordinator Charles Kelly, the Tigers’ coach insists he hasn’t offered the position to anyone and denied being frustrated by the process.

“It's going well,” Malzahn said.

Michael Niziolek covers Auburn football for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Email him at mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com or follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+

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