Rocker to return to Auburn as assistant coach

Updated: January 12, 2009, 6:16 PM ET
Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. -- Former Auburn All-American defensive lineman Tracy Rocker is returning to his alma mater as defensive line coach, head coach Gene Chizik announced Monday.

Rocker held the same position at Mississippi, where he helped guide the No. 14 Rebels to an amazing turnaround from worst in the Southeastern Conference to a Cotton Bowl win over Texas Tech, driven in large part by outstanding play along the defensive line.

Rocker was a two-time All-American and three-time All-SEC player at Auburn. He played two years in the NFL before going on to coach at Arkansas, Cincinnati, Troy State and West Alabama.

"I'm glad to be welcomed back to Auburn, where I have a lot of fond memories and had many great experiences," Rocker said in a statement. "There are three things that I've learned you need to be successful in football, and those are hard work, patience, and team work. I'm looking forward to the challenges ahead and working for Coach Chizik and the entire staff."

Rocker won the 1988 Outland and Lombardi Trophies. He was previously defensive line coach at Arkansas for five seasons. Rocker was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame by the National Football Foundation in December, 2004, in New York City, and was inducted into Alabama's state Sports Hall of Fame in the summer of 2005.

A third-round pick of the Washington Redskins in the 1989 NFL Draft, Rocker went on to play two seasons with the Redskins and was selected to the NFL All-Rookie team in 1990.

"It's a tremendous privilege to be able to add to our staff one of the greatest players to ever wear an Auburn uniform," Chizik said. "Tracy's ability as an All-American player and his reputation nationally as a defensive line coach will provide instant credibility to our players and recruits."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index