Will Muschamp hired as Auburn's defensive coordinator

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Will Muschamp, who was fired as Florida's coach last month, will remain in the SEC as Auburn's new defensive coordinator.

"He's one of the best in the business, if not the best in the business," Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said of Muschamp at Saturday's introductory news conference.

Muschamp's last official day at Florida was Nov. 29, when he coached the Gators in their loss to Florida State, which means he spent less than two weeks out of work. Numerous reports indicate his salary will be $1.6 million, meaning he will be the highest-paid assistant in college football. He reportedly also was a candidate for the Houston head-coaching job.

"We've been pretty good where we've been, but we've also had a bunch of good players," Muschamp said Saturday of the defenses he has coordinated.

Muschamp, 43, previously served as Auburn's defensive coordinator in 2006 and '07, under then-coach Tommy Tuberville. He moved on from there to spend three seasons as Texas' coordinator before being hired as Florida's coach in December 2010. Muschamp also has been a coordinator at LSU under Nick Saban and was a Saban assistant with the Miami Dolphins in 2005.

Muschamp's four teams at Florida had excellent defenses -- each ranked in the top 10 in total defense -- but bad offenses cost him his job in Gainesville.

Auburn's defense struggled in all facets the past two seasons under recently fired coordinator Ellis Johnson, even though the 2013 team played for the national title. Auburn allowed 388.7 yards per game this season, which ranks 61st nationally, and surrendered 420.7 last season, which ranked 87th. Auburn also allowed 26.1 points per game this season and 24.7 per game last season.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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