Troy native Zac Etheridge announces departure from Auburn

Published 10:44 am Friday, January 12, 2024

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On Jan. 12, Troy native – and Auburn safeties coach – Zac Etheridge announced he would be leaving Auburn University to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

Etheridge announced his decision via social media.

“I want to thank the entire Auburn family for the last three years,” Etheridge said. “It’s been a dream coaching at my alma mater, but I’m excited and ready for the next chapter to further my career. I love Auburn with all my heart and have no doubt that the program will flourish under Coach (Hugh) Freeze’s leadership.

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“Above all, I want to say ‘Thank you’ to my players. It’s truly been an honor and a blessing to develop Auburn men on and off the field, while building lifelong relationships. I am, and always will be, an Auburn Tiger.”

247Sports has reported that Etheridge is expected to accept a position at Houston. Etheridge was also reportedly a finalist for the head-coaching job with Louisiana-Monroe. Etheridge is a native of Troy who was a star player at Charles Henderson High School, earning Alabama-Mississippi All-Star honors in 2005. He went on to play college football at Auburn, earning Freshman All-American honors in 2007.

As a sophomore, he suffered a serious neck injury that threatened his football career but he still ultimately returned to the field in 2010 and was named team captain on Auburn’s National Championship team.

Following his playing days, Etheridge joined Bill O’Brien’s staff as a graduate assistant at Penn State in 2012 and then served as a graduate assistant at Georgia Tech from 2013 through 2014, before being named outside linebackers coach and defensive backs coach at Western Carolina in 2016.

In 2018, Etheridge accepted the defensive backs coach position at Louisiana before taking on the same role at Houston from 2019 until 2020. He has coached safeties at Auburn since 2021 and has become known as one of the best recruiters and position coaches in the SEC during that time.