Coaching Carousel of SEC Football Coaches in the SEC

SEC is considered, by many, to be the premier conference in college football. One notable thing that keeps SEC teams successful is building the right coaching staff with experienced guys.

If you look around the SEC, coaches have a history of bouncing around between schools as head coaches and assistants. For example, 12 of the 14 head coaches have some kind of ties to the SEC before they arrived at their current destination (Derek Mason at Vandy and Mark Stoops at Kentucky are the two exceptions).

Here is the list of all the active SEC coaches and their SEC connections.

Head coaches

Nick Saban, Alabama – Before accepting the head coach job with the Tide in 2007, Saban coached LSU from 2000-2004, winning the National Championship in 2003.

Sam Pittman, Arkansas – Pittman was hired back in December after serving on Georgia’s staff from 2016-2019, including as assistant head coach to Kirby Smart in 2019. Pittman also has experience at Tennessee and Missouri.

Gus Malzahn Auburn – Arkansas alum, who served as their OC and WR coach in 2006.

Dan Mullen, Florida – Mullen served as Florida offensive coordinator from 2005-2008 under Urban Meyer, before taking the head coach job at Mississippi State. He was 69-46 with the Bulldogs, and took over at Florida in 2018.

Kirby Smart, Georgia – Smart is a long-time Saban assistant. Before accepting Georgia’s head coaching job in 2016, he was Alabama defense coordinator from 2008-2015 and assistant head coach in 2007. In 2004, he was LSU DB coach under Saban and in 2006, was the Safeties coach for the Miami Dolphins.

Ed Orgeron, LSU – Big O just led LSU to the National Championship and a 15-0 season in 2019. He took over as interim head coach in 2016 after Les Miles was fired mid-season and he was later named full-time coach. He was 10-25 in three years at Ole Miss (2005-2007) and in 2009, was Lane Kiffin’s assistant head coach and DL coach at Tennessee.

Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss – Kiffin went 7-6 in one year at Tennessee in 2009 and ruffled a lot of feathers in the SEC with his brazen and bold comments and approach. He left after one year to coach USC. He returned to the SEC in 2014, and worked as Alabama’s offensive coordinator and QB coach for three years. In 2016, he was “fired” weeks before the National Championship Game.

Mike Leach, Mississippi State – The new Bulldogs head coach has two years of SEC experience, when he coached Kentucky’s offense and QBs in 1997 and 1998.

Eliah Drinkwitz, Missouri – Was Quality Control coach at Auburn in 2010 and 2011.

Will Muschamp, South Carolina – Muschamp went 28-21 in four seasons as Florida head coach from 2011-2014 as he replaced Urban Meyer. His record is fluffed up by an 11-2 season in 2012. He has also worked as a defensive coordinator at LSU (2001-2004) and Auburn (2006-2007, 2015).

Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee – Pruitt has ties to Smart and Saban. Working for Saban, under Smart, Pruitt held the titles of Director of Player Development (2007-2009) and DB coach (2010-2012) for Alabama. From 2014-2015, he was Georgia’ defensive coordinator and then replaced Smart at Alabama from 2016-2017 as defensive coordinator.

Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M – Fisher was part of Saban”s staff as LSU, serving as offensive coordinator and QB coach from 2000-2006. Prior to that, he was Auburn’s QB coach from 1993-1998.

Offensive Coordinators

Steve Sarkisian, Alabama – Sark has only worked for Alabama in the SEC, but did work with Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin at USC, Oakland Raiders, Tennessee, and previously at Alabama.

Chad Morris, Auburn – After being hired as head coach of Arkansas in 2018, Morris compiled a 4-18 record, including going 0-14 in SEC games.

Billy Gonzalez, Florida – Gonzalez worked under Mullen at Mississippi State from 2013-2017 as co-OC and WR coach and was WR coach at LSU from 2010-2011.

John Hevesy, Florida – Hevesy and Gonzalez are co-coordinators at Florida and both worked together at Mississippi State. Hevesy was running game coordinator and OL coach from 2009-2013, and held those same titles and co-OC from 2014-2017.

Todd Monken, Georgia – He has spent the last few years in the NFL, but worked on LSU’s staff as Passing game coordinator/WR coach in 2005-2006, as part of Jimbo Fisher’s staff (OC).

Steve Ensminger, LSU – He’s been LSU OC since 2010. He was part of Auburn’s staff from 2003-2008 as QB coach, TE coach and interim OC and also coached QBs at Georgia from 1991-1993.

Curtis Luper, Missouri – Auburn RB coach from 2009-2012, overlapped with Missouri head coach Eli Drinkwitz, who was QC coach in 2010-11.

Mike Bobo, South Carolina – Bobo played quarterback at Georgia from 1993-1997 and worked on the staff in ’98 and ’99. From 2001-2014, he served as QB coach and from 2007-2014 was also offensive coordinator.

Jim Chaney, Tennessee – Chaney was the offensive coordinator at Georgia from 2016-2019. He was also the OC at Arkansas from 2013-2014.

Darrell Dickey, Texas A&M – Longtime coach, who led North Texas from 1998-2006, was Mississippi State RB/QB coach in 1990 and coached LSU TEs from 1991-1993.

Defensive Coordinators

Barry Odom, Arkansas – Odom is a Missouri alum, who worked on the coaching staff from 2003-2019, as was named head coach in 2016. He went 25-25 in four seasons.

Kevin Steele, Auburn – Steele is a Tennessee alum, who had two separate tenures with the Vols during the 1980s. He was with Alabama from 2007-2008, returned in 2013 and stayed for 2014, went to LSU in 2015 and has been with Auburn since 2016.

Todd Grantham, Florida – Came over to Gators with Dan Mullen in 2018, after serving as defensive coordinator at Mississippi State in 2017. Prior to that, he was with Georgia from 2010-2013 as assistant head coach/defensive coordinator.

DJ Durkin, Ole Miss – Entering his first year at Ole Miss, Durkin (former Maryland head coach) worked on Florida’s staff from 2010-2014 and was DC in 2013-14 under Will Muschamp. After Muschamp was fired as HC, Durkin served as interim coach and led the Gators to a win in the Birmingham Bowl.

Travaris Robinson, South Carolina – Auburn alum, who served as a grad assistant in 2006-2007 and also as defensive backs coach in 2015. Before that, he was defensive backs coach at Florida (under SC coach Muschamp and in partnership with Durkin) from 2011-2014.

Derrick Ansley, Tennessee – Alabama grad assistant in 2010-11 and DB coach in 2016-2017. He also coached Kentucky DBs from 2013-2015.

Jimmy Brumbaugh, Tennessee – Longtime assistant recently coached Kentucky defensive line from 2013-2016 and was an LSU trainer in 2006-2007. Brumbaugh recently served as DC at Maryland, under Durkin.

Ted Roof, Vanderbilt – Roof was the defensive coordinator at Auburn when the won the BCS Championship Game in 2010. He was DC and LB coach from 2009-2011. He began his career as a grad assistant at Alabama in 1987.

Other Assistant Coaches

Jeff Banks, Alabama, Special Teams – Before being hired by Saban in 2018, Banks was special teams and TE coach at Texas A&M from 2013-2017. After Kevin Sumlin’s firing in 2017, Banks was named interim coach, losing the Belk Bowl.

Butch Jones, Alabama, Assistant – Jones’ official title is unclear, but he is part of the Alabama football staff in 2020, after serving as an offensive assistant each of the last two years as well. Before Saban brought in Jones, he was head coach at Tennessee from 2013-2017, where he went 34-27, but 14-24 in SEC games.

Larry Porter, Auburn, TE coach – Porter was the assistant head coach and special teams coordinator at LSU from 2005-2009.

Rodney Garner, Auburn, Associate head coach/DL coach – Gardner has been at Auburn since 2013 and previously worked at Georgia from 1998-2012 and Tennessee from 1996-1997.

Greg Knox, Florida, Special teams coach – Knox, like the others, worked at Mississippi State with Mullen from 2009-2017. When Mullen left for the Gators, Knox took over as interim coach and led the Bulldogs to a win in the TaxSlayer Bowl. He also coached WRs at Auburn from 1999-2008 and WRs at Ole Miss from 1995-1998.

Larry Scott, Florida, TE coach – Scott was offensive coordinator at Tennessee in 2017. He also coached tight ends in both 2017 and 2016. Like 2017, he pulled double duty in 2016, also working as special teams coordinator.

Scott Cochran, Georgia, Special teams coordinator – Cochran is a long time Nick Saban assistant, who left after 2019 to join Smart. Cochran spent the last 13 years at Alabama as head strength and conditioning coach and previously worked with Saban at LSU too. He has been by his side for all 6 of his national title wins.

Matt Luke, Georgia, assistant head coach/OL coach – Luke played for Ole Miss from 1995-1998 and recently served as their head coach, on a full-time basis the last 2 years and as the interim in 2017. Prior to that, he was co-OC and OL coach from 2012-2016.. Luke was 15-21 in three seasons, and 6-18 in SEC play.

Eddie Gran, Kentucky, co-offensive coordinator – Gran has been with UK since 2016. He coached at Tennessee (2009), Auburn (1999-2008), and Ole Miss (1995-1998)

Scott Linehan, LSU, passing game coordinator – Linehan is a longtime NFL assistant, who hasn’t coached in college since 2001 (Louisville). But in 2005, he served as offensive coordinator for the Miami Dolphins, on Saban’s staff.

James Coley, Texas A&M, TE coach – Coley worked at Georgia from 2016-2019, in roles that included coaching WRs (2016-2017), co-OC/QBs (2018-2019). He was also a grad assistant for Saban at LSU in 2003, when they won the National Championship.

Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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