UGA recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner leaving for Auburn

ATHENS, Ga. — Georgia has lost its longest serving assistant football coach.

Defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner is leaving the Bulldogs after 15 seasons to return to his alma mater where he will hold the same positions.

Auburn made the announcement late Thursday night. He will also have the title of assistant head coach like he did at Georgia.

“Rodney is one of the top defensive line coaches in college football who has had great success in the Southeastern Conference,” Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said in a news release. “We’re excited to welcome an Auburn man back home.”

Garner, 46, is a native of Leeds, Ala., who played at Auburn from 1984-88. He was named All-SEC as an offensive lineman in 1988.

“Auburn has always been a very special place for me and my wife, Kimberly, who is also an Auburn graduate,” Garner said through Auburn. “I owe a lot to Auburn and the men who helped mold me to who I am today both professionally and personally.

“I’m very appreciative to Coach Malzahn for this opportunity and I feel very strongly that I can be an asset to the program. I have a lot of love for Auburn and I felt this was a great chance to help give back to a place that has given me so much. I look forward to helping get Auburn back to where it belongs.”

Georgia coach Mark Richt would not address after Thursday morning’s practice if Garner even had talked to Auburn about a job.

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