With Rhett Lashlee off to UConn as the Huskies' new offensive coordinator, Auburn coach Gus Malzahn not only needs to replace his protege, but find a new offensive coordinator for the first time in four years.
The 33-year-old Lashlee is a longtime protege of Gus Malzahn.
It's a sentiment in line with the decision Malzahn made early last season, when he ceded play-calling duties to Lashlee full-time after the team's 1-2 start and felt he needed to take a more hands-off approach to the offense while focusing on being a head coach.
Lashlee was Malzahn's high school quarterback at Shiloh Christian School in Arkansas.
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Rhett has been a valuable asset to our program, helping Auburn to a national championship as a graduate assistant and another national championship appearance in 2013. As an experienced and successful quarterbacks coach, Lashlee will be able to help UConn at its most dire need since the departure of Dan Orlovsky and should provide a boon to recruiting for the offense as well.
Auburn finished the 2016 season 8-5, falling to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, 35-19. Perhaps this is done to distance himself from Malzahn to give him a better shot at future head coaching opportunities? "I've known Rhett for two decades and he's a man of great character and integrity and this is another step towards his goal to become a head coach".
Before being named the offensive coordinator at Auburn, Lashlee served as the offensive coordinator at Arkansas State and Samford.
In 2014, Auburn set a school record for total offense.
After Malzahn yielded control of the offense to Lashlee, however, things turned around for Auburn's offense - particularly during the team's six-game winning streak. If he wants to break into the head coaching ranks one day, it won't hurt to build on his experiences with a different head coach. "Auburn's very dear to us". He was a back-up quarterback for the Razorbacks before graduating in 2006.