Auburn offensive line coach J.B. Grimes is heading to the American Athletic Conference to join his son Nick Grimes on Cincinnati's staff.
According to a source close to the Bearcats' program, Grimes has accepted an offer to coach the team's offensive line for former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville.
Grimes' son Nick has been a graduate assistant with the team since 2014.
An official announcement could come before the end of the week when Tuberville returns to campus from the 2016 AFCA National Convention in San Antonio, Texas.
The elder Grimes just finished his third year as Auburn’s offensive line coach and fourth year with coach Gus Malzahn. Grimes coached the offensive line for Malzahn at Arkansas State in 2012.
According to USA Today’s NCAA assistant coach salary database, Grimes salary was $370,000 in 2015. The coach he is replacing Darren Hiller made $180,000 at Cincinnati last season.
Grimes coaching resume goes back 30-plus years with stints at top programs across the country including Mississippi State, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and Arkansas.
The veteran coach displayed the toughness he is known for in 2015 before when he didn’t miss any practice time before the season following surgery to remove a cancerous spot on his tongue and removal of his lymph nodes.
He had surgery on the Wednesday before fall camp and was at practice the following Monday. His determination earned him a nomination for the 2015 Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award.
“That’s a very tough guy with some big energy,” Auburn tackle Shon Coleman said. “Nothing can stop him from being a part of our team and moving us forward. He believes in us that much. If one of us gets hurt, we’re going to look over and see what he went through, and he’s been through a lot. That respect for him has brought us closer. We want to play great to show him what he has done for us means.”
Former Auburn offensive linemen were quick to wish Grimes the best of luck on social media.
“Coach Jb Grimes thank you for everything you did for us. You will be missed. Look forward to hearing about your new guys at Cincinnati,” Reese Dismukes tweeted.
Houston Texan guard Chad Slade had a similar message for his former coach.
“Congrats to @CoachJBGrimes thank you for everything and making us into the best offensive line in the country. Wishing you the best in Cincy,” Slade tweeted.
Dismukes and Slade were both part of an Auburn offensive line that helped the team’s run game lead the nation with 328.3 yards per game in 2013.