Auburn Football: Does Rich Bisaccia Make Auburn a "Championship Caliber" Team?

Jeff Jones@jeffjones99Correspondent IIJanuary 3, 2013

Rich Bisaccia (courtesy of
Rich Bisaccia (courtesy of

Thursday’s hiring of Rich Bisaccia, who was considered one of the NFL’s top assistants, brought Auburn coach Gus Malzahn one step closer to completing his staff.

The highly coveted assistant will have his hands full, serving three different roles for this coming season—special teams coach, running backs coach and assistant head coach.

Bisaccia assuming the role of assistant head coach means Rodney Garner, another recent Malzahn hire, will act as the associate head coach—not assistant head coach, as originally stated.  He will have this role in addition to his duties as the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator.

Bisaccia is well deserving of this opportunity.  His resume alone puts others’ to shame.  Equally impressive is praise that he receives from the coaching community.

“Rich is widely regarded as the one of the top special teams coaches in all of football and has coached several elite running backs, so we’re thrilled to have him join our staff,” Malzahn said in a news release Thursday afternoon. “Rich’s resume speaks for itself. He has been a part of some outstanding teams, including a Super Bowl Champion in Tampa Bay. He has coached several running backs and special teams players that were among the very best in the game at both the collegiate and professional level."

His years in the NFL include stops with the Buccaneers (2002-2010) and the Chargers (2010-2012). 
Prior to coaching at the professional level, Bisaccia was no stranger to SEC football, having coached at South Carolina, Clemson and Ole Miss through the late 80s, 90s and early 2000s.

The veteran special teams coach expressed his excitement about returning to college football in a statement to the Auburn media Thursday afternoon.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me to return to the college game at a program like Auburn,” Bisaccia said.“I have an incredible amount of respect for Auburn and Coach Malzahn.  I met Gus in the spring of 2010 and have followed his cutting edge offense and what he’s accomplished as a coach since he started coaching in college. He’s a man of character and I had previously worked with Ellis Johnson and Charlie Harbison, so I knew the type of staff that Gus was putting together.  I’m excited and ready to help Auburn return to a championship caliber team.”

Thus far, Malzahn has hired seven assistants and is expected to bring on two more coaches (both on the offensive side of the ball) before the season begins.

There’s no way to tell when—or if—Malzahn and his revamped staff will return Auburn to their former championship caliber; but with the amount of experience being added to this group of coaches, Tigers fans now have reason to believe it will only be a matter of time until those on The Plains are back on top of the SEC.



1983 Defensive Backs and Special Teams, Wayne State

1984-87 Quarterbacks and Receivers, Wayne State

1988 Grad Asst., Tight Ends and Wide Receivers, South Carolina

1989-90 Volunteer Asst., Def. Ends and Special Teams, South Carolina

1991 Volunteer Asst., Tight Ends and Special Teams, South Carolina

1992-93 Running Backs and Special Teams, South Carolina

1994-98 Running Backs and Special Teams, Clemson

1999 Running Backs and Special Teams, Ole Miss

2000-01 Assistant Head Coach, Running Backs and Special Teams, Ole Miss

2002-07 Special Teams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

2008 Associate Head Coach, Special Teams and Running Backs, Tampa Bay

2009-10 Associate Head Coach and Special Teams, Tampa Bay

2011 Special Teams, San Diego Chargers

2012 Assistant Head Coach—Special Teams, San Diego Chargers