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Auburn WRs coach Dameyune Craig leaves alma mater for same position at rival LSU

Michael Niziolek

mniziolek@ledger-enquirer.com

Auburn assistant coach Dameyune Craig celebrates WR Nate Craig-Myers committing to Auburn on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. (Zach Bland | Auburn Athletics)
Auburn assistant coach Dameyune Craig celebrates WR Nate Craig-Myers committing to Auburn on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016. (Zach Bland | Auburn Athletics)

Dameyune Craig wants to spread his wings.

Auburn’s wide receivers coach accepted the same position with LSU on Sunday night less than two weeks after landing his alma mater the number one group of wide receivers in the country.

The former Auburn quarterback called it a “professional decision” in a statement released by LSU citing his desire to grow as a coach for leaving.

“I want to thank the Auburn family for all of their love and support over the years,” Craig said. “My decision to make this career move is in no way a reflection of Auburn or the Auburn family. It is strictly a professional decision. It’s about growing as a coach and, hopefully, one day becoming a head coach.”

Craig had a contract worth $500,000 annually through June 2018. He is the fifth assistant this offseason to leave the program.

“Auburn has played a pivotal role in my professional and personal life,” Craig said. “Words can't express how grateful I am to the Auburn family and all of the incredible people who are part of that wonderful community. I will forever be indebted to the opportunities that Auburn gave me.”

In announcing the move, LSU coach Les Miles praised Craig’s proven history as one of the nation’s top recruiters. Last week, Craig was ranked No. 4 in 247 Sports’ list of top recruiting assistants in the country. It was the second time in his three years with Auburn he made the top 10.  

 “Dameyune is a quarterback by nature so he’s going to be a tremendous asset to us in all phases of the passing game,” Miles said. “He coached a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida State and developed some outstanding receivers at Auburn. He comes to us with great coaching credentials as well as being a proven recruiter.”

Miles didn’t even need 24 hours to fill a vacancy created on Saturday when Tony Ball left the program.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn’s issued a brief statement in response to the news.

"I want to thank Dameyune for his contributions during the last three years and wish him and his family nothing but the best. We will work quickly to search for his replacement,” Malzahn said.

On national signing day, Malzahn had plenty more to say about Craig, praising his assistant’s efforts in landing Nate Craig-Myers and the amount of time the former NFL quarterback dedicated to solidifying a large group of signees (four) at receiver.

“I’m very proud of him and the job he did with these receivers,” Malzahn said. “He worked extremely hard to develop those relationships over a long period of time. I’ll say this again. The guys we got are the guys we wanted two years ago. That’s rare -- usually you identify your top guys and then they go and you may get one of them, and you have to go to the next guy, but those are the guys we wanted.”

One of Craig’s targets Kyle Davis took to social media to post his reaction to his now former coach’s decision.

“We still locked and loaded, ain’t nothing change,” Davis said.

The Archer alum out of Georgia was one of Auburn’s nine early enrollees and has been on campus since the beginning of January.

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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