Report: Auburn expected to hire former Texas A&M DB coach TJ Rushing as special assistant


The Auburn Tigers have made an addition to their staff late in the offseason, expected to hire former Texas A&M defensive backs coach TJ Rushing as a special assistant according to Matt Zenitz.

Rushing has spent the past three seasons with the Aggies and has playing experience at the college and pro level. Serving primarily as a returner for Stanford in college before being selected with the No. 238 overall pick in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. Now joining Hugh Freeze‘s staff ahead of his second season at the helm for the Tigers.

In college Rushing was a First Team All Pac-10 selection, ranking seventh all-time in program history with 1,409 kickoff return yards and tied for first with three kickoff returns for touchdowns. Spending five seasons in the NFL and one in the CFL before transitioning to coaching.

Rushing got his coaching start with Arizona State as a graduate assistant and a defensive quality control coach before securing the first position coach job of his coaching career. Named the cornerbacks coach at Northern Arizona ahead of the 2014 season where he spent just one year and the Lumberjacks had the conference’s best pass defense. Returning to the Sun Devils to coach their defensive backs for the 2016 and 2017 seasons after one season as a defensive assistant at his alma mater.

In 2018 and 2019 Rushing was the defensive backs coach and passing game coordinator at Memphis, where in two seasons the Tigers intercepted 18 passes and forced 37 total turnovers. A part of the 2019 Memphis team that finished the season 12-2 with a conference title and a berth in the Cotton Bowl.

Rushing’s first year with Texas A&M represented the program’s best season in the past five years. Capping off the season with an Orange Bowl win in their first New Year’s Six Bowl appearance to end the year 9-1. With the Aggies leading the SEC and ranking top 10 in the nation in total defense.

In the past two seasons, Rushing’s defensive back unit allowed the fewest passing yards in the SEC. With the Aggies also ranking as a top-five scoring defense in the SEC during his three seasons in College Station (top three twice). As he’ll look to bring his defensive prowess along with him to a Tigers team that took a big step in the right direction defensively last season in year one under Freeze.