The Tennessee Titans announced Wednesday that they have hired Auburn assistant Tracy Rocker to coach their defensive line.
Rocker was Auburn's defensive line coach for two years and and helped develop Lombardi Award winner and All-American defensive tackle Nick Fairley during the Tigers' 2010 BCS national championship season. Rocker also coached at Ole Miss, Arkansas, Cincinnati, Troy and West Alabama during 17 years in the college ranks.
Rocker won the 1988 Outland and Lombardi trophies as a player at Auburn, then spent two seasons with the Washington Redskins before a knee injury derailed his NFL career. He also spent two summers in the NFL's Minority Internship Program, working for the Indianapolis Colts in 2001 and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2006.
"I really like the way Tracy has worked his way up the coaching ladder after being such a successful player," new Titans coach Mike Munchak said in a statement released by the team. "He has shown the ability to develop players at all of his stops, which is a testament to him being a great teacher. He is a rare combination of a great player who becomes a great teacher. He has a passion for the game and has shown the ability to relate to his players."
"This is something that I dreamed about, reaching the top of the line in the football world," Rocker said in the team-issued statement. "Growing up, you dream about playing in the NFL, and once I made the transition to the coaching world, this was the ultimate goal. Now it is up to me to prove myself at this level.
"I realize I have big shoes to fill and have a lot of respect for Coach Washburn and what he got from his players. There is nothing that says you can't follow up a great coach with another great coach, and that is what I will work to achieve."
Rocker wasn't the only hire made by the Titans on Wednesday. *The Tennessean* reported that the Titans have made Frank Bush their new linebackers coach.
Bush served as the Houston Texans' defensive coordinator the past two seasons before being fired last month. He was a teammate of Munchak when they played for the then-Houston Oilers in 1985 and 1986, and was in the organization during Munchak's tenure there.
Bush's hiring puts Dave McGinnis' future in doubt. McGinnis had served as assistant head coach/linebackers coach since 2005. The Tennessean reported that McGinnis could remain on Munchak's staff in an assistant role.
Munchak has been busy filling out his staff since being promoted from offensive line coach Feb. 7. The Rocker and Bush moves were preceded by the hirings of offensive line coach Bruce Matthews, defensive coordinator Jerry Gray and offensive coordinator Chris Palmer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.