Auburn Assistants Resign - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

January 2, 2002 7:55 p.m.

Auburn Assistants Resign

The rumors began after Auburn's embarrassing 31 to 7 loss to Alabama. This was followed by a decisive loss to LSU and Monday night's Peach Bowl defeat in which the offense was totally out of sync.

Wednesday, Auburn's offensive and defensive coordinators, Noel Mazzone and John Lovett submitted their asked-for resignations. Defensive coordinator John Lovett's removal was surprising in view of Auburn's great defensive effort in the upset of #1 ranked Florida and another good performance against North Carolina in the Peach Bowl.

But, the defense gave up an average of 33-points a game in those three critical losses to Arkansas, Alabama, and LSU. One win out of the three would have sent them back to the championship game.

With the loss of SEC Player of the Year Rudi Johnson and quarterback Ben Leard, Auburn was expected to struggle on offense. But, expectations soared when they used defense and a superb kicking game to win six of the first seven, including the Florida upset.

Then came the late slump. Mazzone, the offensive coordinator and the quarterback coach, benched Jason Campbell early in the Florida game, then went back to him after the Alabama loss. But, Campbell never was able to settle into Mazzone's offense.

The first half of the Peach Bowl game was a total disaster. Mazzone told the Inside the Auburn Tigers magazine, he made a mistake by not taking head coaching jobs offered to him last year and the year before. Both departed graciously saying they valued the friendships and the memories at Auburn.

Tommy Tuberville said the search for coordinators begins immediately. He hopes to talk with several candidates at the National Coaches Convention, and he hopes to have both positions filled by the weekend of January 11th, which is the first big "official-visit" weekend of the recruiting season.

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