As the second national signing day approaches on Wednesday, Auburn football coach Bryan Harsin will likely still be recruiting his second coordinator in two weeks, in addition to prospects.
After just a couple of weeks in Auburn, Alabama, new offensive coordinator Austin Davis left town recently and announced Monday he was leaving his job for personal reasons.
“The last week has been difficult for me as I’ve made the decision to step away from coaching football,” Davis said in a statement through the Auburn sports information department.
Davis, 32, was a rising quarterbacks coach with the Seattle Seahawks in the 2020 and ’21 seasons after beginning his coaching career there in 2019 as an assistant quarterbacks coach. A former Southern Mississippi starting quarterback, Davis was a backup in the NFL from 2012-18 for six teams, including Seattle in 2017, after signing as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams in 2012.
“Auburn and Coach Harsin have been tremendous through this whole process,” Davis said. “I am grateful for the opportunity that was presented to me from a coaching standpoint and equally as important, the way Coach Harsin has handled my current situation. My decision to resign is 100 percent based on personal reasons.”
Davis sounded as if he may be leaving coaching all together, at least for now.
“After more than a decade in the NFL with the daily grind as a player and coach I’ve realized how much I miss my family and my desire to spend more time with them,” he said. “While I need to step away from coaching, I can’t say enough about the first class way I was welcomed into the Auburn family, and the way this football program is run with a championship mindset and a focus on developing these young men into winners on and off the field.”
Davis made that statement after just a little over two weeks with the program after the conclusion of the Seahawks’ season at 7-10 on Jan. 9.
“I will forever be a fan of Auburn football, Coach Harsin, and the young men who comprise that locker room,” Davis said. “I know great things are in store for this team.”
Harsin has begun a “national search” for his next offensive coordinator, according to Auburn’s release.
Harsin just lost defensive coordinator Derek Mason to Oklahoma State in recent weeks and replaced him by promoting linebackers coach Jeff Schmedding to defensive coordinator.
Harsin had just hired Davis in December, and he came highly recommended from Seattle coach Pete Carroll.
“Austin is going to show that he is one of the bright young minds in the game,” Carroll said at the time of the hiring. “”He’s been able to transition from player to coach unlike anybody I’ve ever seen. It was just so smooth for him, and he’s been thinking like a coach for a long time, obviously because he was able to capture the role.”
Davis worked with Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.
“Russ thinks the world of him,” Carroll said. “And I do too because he is really, really good at what he does. He is going to really be a big benefit to their program.”
Harsin hired Davis to replace offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo, whom he fired just after the 2021 season as Auburn struggled mightily on offense down the stretch. The Tigers finished 6-7 after a 6-2 start, largely because they could not score.
If the “national search” does not work well, Harsin may look to wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau to be his new offensive coordinator. Kiesau was Harsin’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Boise State, where Harsin left after the 2020 season to be Auburn’s coach. Kiesau was an analyst at Auburn until replacing wide receivers coach Cornelius Williams, whom Harsin fired four games into the 2021 season.
Harsin hired Bobo from the offensive coordinator position at South Carolina after the 2020 season. Bobo has resurfaced as an analyst at Georgia, where he played quarterback from 1993-97 and was the offensive coordinator from 2007-14.