Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Ex-AU coach Tuberville Hires Franklin Protege

Consider this Bizarro World Tommy Tuberville.

The former Auburn coach spent 10 years on the Plains and four years at Ole Miss winning with a power run game and an old-fashioned, grind-it-out offense.

When Tuberville did try to branch out and move to a spread offense with Tony Franklin, it backfired and blew up in his face -- ultimately leading to his resignation at Auburn after a 5-7 season.

Now at Texas Tech, Tuberville is again embracing the guns-up philosophy.

Tuberville hired Franklin protege Neal Brown to run the Red Raiders offense on Tuesday.

Brown followed Franklin as Troy's offensive coordinator after Franklin accepted Tuberville's invitation to serve the same role at Auburn. Had Franklin been allowed to bring coaches with him from Troy, Brown would have likely been one of Franklin's prime targets.

The pair worked together in a player-coach setting from 1998-2000 when Franklin was a coach at Kentucky and Brown was a receiver. Brown also played for the NIFL's Lexington Horsemen under Franklin in 2003. They again worked together when Troy coach Larry Blakeney hired Brown and Franklin in 2006.

One can only imagine the conversation Brown and Franklin had when discussing the option, considering Franklin's mid-season firing at Auburn. In the end, though, Brown accepted the position.

Franklin, now at Middle Tennessee State, applauded the hire.

Tuberville is also said to be targeting James Willis as his defensive coordinator. Willis, now at Alabama, coached at Auburn under Tuberville for three seasons.

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