Auburn hires Will Muschamp to be defensive coordinator _lowres

Associated Press photo by JAMES CRISP -- Former Florida coach Will Muschamp

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn hired former Florida coach Will Muschamp as defensive coordinator Friday, hoping he can rebuild a defense that struggled badly late in the season.

“I’m excited to welcome Will back to Auburn as our new defensive coordinator,” Tigers coach Gus Malzahn said. “Will is a one of the top defensive minds in college football who has great passion and energy for the game. He is a tremendous addition to our staff.”

A person with knowledge of the move said Muschamp will make $1.6 million a year, making him one of college football’s highest paid assistants. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the school didn’t release terms of the deal.

“My family, Carol, Jackson, Whit, and I are excited about coming back to Auburn and I look forward to working with coach Malzahn to win championships,” Muschamp said.

Muschamp will be introduced at a news conference Saturday.


NO DECISION ON COACH YET: Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez says he hasn’t offered the Badgers’ football coaching job to anyone, including current Pittsburgh coach and apparent front-runner Paul Chryst.

Alvarez said Friday that Wisconsin state law prevents the university from making an offer to anyone before Wednesday, the date given in a job posting that went up after Gary Andersen’s departure this week for Oregon State.

Alvarez will coach the Badgers in the bowl against Auburn on Jan. 1.

Chryst is a former Badgers assistant, including stints as co-offensive coordinator, tight ends coach and quarterbacks coach. He’s also a former Badgers quarterback. He is 19-19 at Pitt, including 6-6 this season with a game against Houston coming up Jan. 2 in the Armed Forces Bowl.


COURT REINSTATES SUIT AGAINST SABAN’S DAUGHTER: The Alabama Supreme Court is reinstating a lawsuit filed against the daughter of Alabama football coach Nick Saban.

The justices ruled Friday that a judge in Tuscaloosa was wrong to dismiss the lawsuit against Kristen Saban.

The Supreme Court says Sarah Grimes should get to pursue her lawsuit claiming Kristen Saban injured her during a fight after a night of drinking in August 2010.

Evidence showed the two were sorority sisters but got into a brawl over a Facebook post. Grimes claims the coach’s daughter beat her badly. Tuscaloosa County Circuit Judge James Roberts dismissed the suit in March, ruling Kristen Saban was only defending herself.

Oklahoma State

RB HILL ARRESTED: Oklahoma State running back Tyreek Hill was arrested Thursday night, accused of punching and choking his girlfriend.

According to a report from the Stillwater Police department, the woman said she and the All-Big 12 player had an argument that escalated into physical violence. She said she was punched in the face and stomach, had a busted lip and was choked.

The woman said she was eight weeks pregnant, and was concerned about the fetus.

The report said Hill, a 20-year-old junior, was arrested shortly after 11 p.m. on a charge of domestic abuse by strangulation.

Oklahoma State did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hill’s electrifying 92-yard punt return for a touchdown tied last Saturday’s game against Oklahoma, and his Cowboys went on to win 38-35 in overtime.


RB JOHNSON WILL REVEAL DECISION DEC. 28: Miami running back Duke Johnson plans to reveal whether he will skip his senior season on Dec. 28, one day after the Hurricanes’ bowl game against South Carolina.

That date also happens to be the birthday of his mother, Cassandra Prophet-Mitchell. Johnson has said repeatedly that he plays football with hopes of providing for his family, but that his mother has also insisted he get his degree.

Johnson is Miami’s all-time leading rusher with 3,387 yards, including 1,520 this season.

Also Friday, Miami revealed that senior tight end Clive Walford (knee) and junior receiver Herb Waters (neck) will miss the bowl game with a knee injury.