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Auburn promotes defensive analyst Travis Williams to linebackers coach

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn addresses the media at the Birmingham Bowl press conference Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn addresses the media at the Birmingham Bowl press conference Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015 at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn handed out a promotion Thursday to fill the remaining coaching vacancy on his defensive staff.

Malzahn elevated former Auburn All-SEC linebacker Travis Williams from defensive analyst to linebackers coach.

“I have always been very impressed by Travis’ knowledge and passion for the game and his ability to relate to our players,” Malzahn said in a release. “I’m glad to have him as an on-field coach. Travis embodies Auburn and what Auburn football is about. He’s a great addition to our staff.”

Williams coached Auburn’s linebackers during bowl preparations each of the past two seasons with his latest stint earning rave reviews from his players. 

“He's been a great coach,” Justin Garrett said. “He played here and was a two-time All-SEC linebacker, played in the NFL. He's more hands-on. He's out there. He played it. He wore the AU helmet. Anytime we mess up, he tells us that's not how Auburn linebackers play.”

Before joining Auburn in 2014, Williams spent a season as the defensive coordinator for Creekside High School in Georgia. The team won the Class 5A state championship during his brief tenure as an assistant.

Williams coaching resume also includes time as a defensive graduate assistant with Auburn and a year as linebackers coach at Northern Iowa. 

“I am very thankful to Coach Malzahn for believing in me and for giving me this opportunity,” Williams said. “To whom much is given, much will be required. I understand the expectations and responsibility of being the linebackers coach at Auburn. I understand Auburn and those that laid the foundation before me.”

Williams was named Auburn’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2005. His three years as a starter earned him a place on Auburn’s 2000’s All-Decade Team. He played in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons from 2006-08 before transitioning into coaching.

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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