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Auburn Hires Charlie Harbison as Co-Defensive Coordinator

By on December 9th, 2012 in Football, News 17 Comments »

“He is an outstanding coach and recruiter and … will be a tremendous asset to our defense … we’re excited to have him join our staff,” Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn made that statement in a press release about new Co-Defensive Coordinator Charlie Harbison.

Harbison, who has worked with Ellis Johnson on two different staffs was hired Saturday away from Clemson to join Johnson, his old colleague and friend at Auburn. The two worked together at Alabama in 2000 and at Mississippi State in 2007.

As a recruiter, Harbison has recruited some big time talent over his 20 years of coaching mainly in the SEC and ACC. He is considered one of the best in the business and was named one of the nation’s top 25 recruiters by Rivals in 2010.

As a coach, Harbison has had coaching stints at LSU, Alabama, Mississippi State, and Clemson. He was the Defensive Coordinator and safeties coach at State between 2007-08. The Bulldogs were seventh in the nation in pass defense and 20th in the nation in pass efficiency defense in 2007

Between two Alabama stints, Harbison coached the defensive backfield at LSU in 2001 – ’02 and  helped LSU win the 2001 SEC title.

At Clemson his secondary was ranked in the top 26 in the nation in pass efficiency defense in 2009 and 2010, while coaching first-team All-American safety DeAndre McDaniel in ‘ 09 and ’10. McDaniel led the ACC and was tied for third in the nation in interceptions (8) in 2009.

Clemson won the ACC Championship in 2011 and the Atlantic Division title in 2009. The purple Tigers had  21 interceptions that year, fifth-most in Tiger history and tied for fifth-most in the nation. Clemson was seventh in the nation in passing defense.

Charlie said he was looking forward to joining Coach Malzahn’s staff at Auburn,  “Having coached against Auburn on several occasions, I’m very familiar with the great success and tradition associated with the program. This is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family.”

Welcome Coach Harbison and War Eagle!


  1. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    Malzahn is assembling an outstanding staff.

  2. plains74 says:

    Trooper Who?

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ……Thus far, things seem to be going well. Some would cringe at Lashee being named OC, but for those Tiger fans like myself… Lashee was an integral part of the orchestration of the 2010 offense. 65 against Arkansas. 51 against Ole Miss. 49 against Georgia. 56 against USC. Those are all series high scores, all-time.

    …..More off-target banter… Did anyone see Cam Newton on the zone-read this afternoon in Carolina? 73 yards, for an absolutely sick score! This time, he dived again for the end zone, reminiscent of the South Carolina game in Auburn. Turned a complete flip, this time. Wow, wasn’t his tenure at Auburn great?

    • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

      Yes and yes! War Eagle!

      Speaking of off topic, hope everyone caught ESPN’s 30 for 30: ‘You don’t know Bo’. Good stuff!

    • sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

      Yet another NFL record for the big guy. First QB in history with over 250 yards passing, 100 yards rushing and a touchdown of each type in the same game.

      If you had bet who would’ve gotten that stat before the game, how many would have voted for ANYONE else?

    • TigerintheHass TigerintheHass says:

      I see the Lashlee hire as Gus hiring someone to implement Gus’s offense, as opposed to bringing in a big name OC who will want to run his own plays. It’s clear Gus is running the offense with input from his #1 protege. Who knows, maybe RL has his own Gus-approved playbook too. Excited!

  4. SandMountainTiger SandMountainTiger says:

    I’m extremely pleased with this. Isn’t this the guy who landed Clempsun those 2 lbs a few years ago? I hope this gives Dabo acid reflux.

  5. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    The good news

    Good recruiter-check
    Hard nosed-check
    Good track record-check

    Now the bad news. He was named CO-defensive coordinator. That means we can’t dangle that carrot for Tracy Rocker to join us. I hope we can still get him back.

    • mikeautiger says:

      Just make Rocker Assistant Head Coach like TT. Maybe that would be a good carrot to dangle.

    • sparkey sparkey says:

      Good track record? Have you looked at his last two years with the Clemson secondary? They are comparable to Auburn’s secondary. Yes, even this year they’re very similar. I wouldn’t call that a good track record in the last two years. I honestly like the hire, but I don’t expect our secondary to improve any if at all.

  6. Malakai Malakai says:

    A little off-topic, but for those who haven’t seen it, here is a GREAT video on the new S&C coach Ryan Russell. I can see now why CGM thought he needed a new philosophy at the S&C position.

  7. sparkey sparkey says:

    He is a great recruiter, which we have needed. I’ve been concerned so far as to the lack of recruiting ability the incoming staff seems to have. RL simply isn’t proven yet. I don’t know if he can compete in the SEC west for the best players. I know Gus can, but RL needs to have that capability as well. EJ is not a great recruiter. For that matter, they say Tracy Rocker hates recruiting. If that’s the case, I don’t think we need him here again. I’m sorry but recruiting is a major part of it. You have to have BOTH the X’s and O’s AND the Jimmys and the Joes.