Gus Malzahn releases statement regarding the firing of Ellis Johnson
Auburn has dismissed defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson, according to AuburnUndercover.com. Football scoop first reported the firing.
AL.com, in addition to other media reports, confirmed the news.
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn, along with Johnson, released a statement regarding the decision on Sunday evening.
“At this time I felt it was best for our program to make a change with our defensive coordinator,” Malzahn said. “Ellis is a true professional and I would like to thank him for his contributions at Auburn.”
Johnson — a veteran of more than 40 years — had coached stints at four different SEC schools. Auburn’s defense saw improvement in his first year, especially in the red zone.
However, the Tigers regressed in year two under Johnson’s watch. Auburn surrendered a program-worst 39 points per game in its final six conference games, and could not generate a pass rush following the departure of Dee Ford and the loss of Carl Lawson to an ACL injury.
“This is part of the business and I totally understand,” Johnson said. “I did think we were good in several areas, but overall it wasn’t good enough. I’m disappointed for our players, but this is a results business. I want to thank Coach Malzahn and Auburn for the opportunity the last two years.”