Gus Malzahn is a great hire by the Auburn Tigers, and he'll be effective as both a coach and a recruiter. If Auburn really wants to have lasting success on the recruiting trail though, it is going to come down to hiring the right coordinators.
Don't get me wrong, the head coach plays a huge role in recruiting, and in Malzahn's case, his presence should really help keep Auburn's current class intact. That said, assistant coaches are without a doubt one of the most important factors in the recruiting process, so Auburn and Malzahn need to make the right choices.
According to James Crepea of montgomeryadvertiser.com, Malzahn won't rush the process:
Malzahn said he will take his time in deciding who his assistant coaches will be. “I’m going to take my time and I’m going to find the right fit for us. I’m going to get the best fit for Auburn no matter whether it’s guys that are here, guys that are with me, guys are other places.”
Assistant coaches and coordinators are the ones that recruits get to know the most during the recruiting process. They are usually the ones who have the ability to keep in touch, and provide a recruit with all the pertinent details about the program. They are also the coach a recruit will end up spending the most time with. Whether it be on the practice field, in meetings or in an actual game, having a solid rapport with your position coach or coordinator is vital as a football player.
Recruits know that, and that's what makes having the right assistants so important to the recruiting process.
In Malzahn's case, his most important decision will be at defensive coordinator. Malzahn is known as an offensive-minded coach. Implementing his exciting and effective brand of offense is going to be huge for Auburn, but defense is the name of the game in the SEC—so that needs to be addressed as well.
Auburn's defensive future looks very bright, mainly due to their three 5-star commits in linebacker Reuben Foster, and defensive ends Dee Liner and Carl Lawson. Hiring a coach that can harness their potential and put together a strong squad is going to be important.
He'll also have to be good on the recruiting trail though. Malzahn and his offensive philosophy's are sure to attract elite offensive recruits, but balance is key in football, so being able to recruit an elite defensive class year-after-year is just as crucial to Auburn's future success.
Who is most important in the recruiting process?
Defensive coordinator will be a key spot, but let's not forget the other roles on a football team. Will Malzahn hire an offensive coordinator or will he call the plays? Who will he trust with the special teams? These are all questions that will have to be answered very soon, and those hires will all play a role in the future of Auburn recruiting.
The importance of assistant coaches and coordinators in college football recruiting can not be overstated.
Auburn made a great hire in Malzahn, but now it's up to him to complete the process. Bringing in the right coordinators will be crucial.