Auxiliary coaches. Off-the-field assistants. Specialized recruiting consultants.
College football fans are struggling to wrap their minds around what these mysterious job titles mean—asking questions like “are they necessary?” and “will they help my team?”
Well, for Auburn fans, help may be on the way from some recently hired staff members—and that help might come sooner than expected.
Gus Malzahn has been hard at work, hiring several prominent figures in the Alabama and Georgia high school football scene, including B.C. Rain head coach Brent Dearmon, Spain Park’s Chip Lindsey and Carver-Columbus (Ga.) coach Dell McGee.
Regardless of what these coaches’ particular job titles are, their duties are becoming clear: provide insight about what high school athletes need to hear while being recruited, maintain year-round contact with top prospects and use pre-existing connections to help blaze the recruiting trail.
The most recently hired member of this trio, B.C. Rain coach Brent Dearmon, has strong ties to powerhouse Alabama programs, including Mary Montgomery, Davidson and, most notably, Vigor, where he served as the offensive coordinator during their 15-0 state championship season in 2008.
Dell McGee might be a familiar name to some Tigers fans. He played defensive back at Auburn in the early '90s. Since then, he has experienced some success as a player in the NFL and even more success in his second career, coaching high school football.
His Carver-Columbus teams compiled a record of 88-19 in his eight seasons as coach and won a state championship in 2007.
Another name that may sound familiar to Auburn fans is Chip Lindsey. He led Spain Park to a 10-3 record last season, and first crossed paths with Auburn as a coach at Lassiter High (Ga.) in 2009 when Gus Malzahn was recruiting one of Lindsey’s standout tight ends—Philip Lutzenkirchen.
Since then, Lindsey has made stops at Hoover High and Spain Park, but now feels his off-the-field role at Auburn is an “incredible opportunity” that is too good to pass up.
“I put a lot of prayer into it,” says Lindsey, “It is just the right move for me and my family.”
Auburn will not release the specific duties of these new off-the-field coaches until a later date, but it
is safe to assume that they were hired at least in part due to the new NCAA recruiting rules which will become active on August 1.
Under these new guidelines, off-the-field coaches are now permitted to contact recruits via phone call,
text or social media and can basically recruit the same as any other coach, with the exception of making off-campus visits.
Fans will not know the effect that these new staff members have on the culture of college football recruiting for several months, but it must be reassuring for Tigers fans to see Malzahn and his staff keeping up with the changing atmosphere of the sport.