After their predecessors finished the season 3-9 and 0-8 in SEC play for the first time in program history, the 2013 Auburn Tigers, led by first-year head coach Gus Malzahn, have a rather large hill to climb.
The proud program, which has had an undefeated season under every full-time head coach since Pat Dye left in 1992, took a major step back last season. As a result, the Tigers are largely being overlooked in preseason prognostications as they transition to a new staff and "a new day."
Offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee is one of the coaches Malzahn is counting on to ease the transition. He joined the Auburn staff after spending one year in the same position on Malzahn's staff at Arkansas State.
The 30-year-old has been with Malzahn for 15 years, first playing quarterback for Malzahn at Shiloh Christian High School in Springdale, Ark., from 1999-01, then coaching with Malzahn at Springdale (Ark.) High School in 2004-05, Arkansas in 2006 and Auburn from 2009-10.