Auburn Hires Ellis Johnson as Defensive Coordinator

By Joel A. Erickson |

AUBURN, Alabama -- Auburn's Gus Malzahn made good on his promise to hit the ground running as the Tigers' new coach by hiring Ellis Johnson as the defensive coordinator, a source familiar with the agreement confirmed Thursday morning.

Johnson, who will reportedly make $800,000 per year according to, was fired as the Southern Miss head coach after a disastrous first year in Hattiesburg that dropped the Golden Eagles from 12-2 in 2011 to 0-12 in 2012.

“I’m going to take my time and I’m going to find the right fit," Malzahn said in his introductory press conference on Tuesday night. "We are going to hire men of character who will be great examples for our players and then they’re going to be great coaches and great recruiters."

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