Auburn is already being hailed as the possible team on the rise in the SEC for 2017, if that prediction does indeed come to fruition, it will have to be done without Gus Malzahn understudy/offensive coordinator.

UConn has just announced OC Rhett Lashlee will leave Auburn to accept the same role at Connecticut.

Lashlee is the only coordinator Malzahn has had in his coaching career and even served as a quarterback on one of Malzahn’s Springdale High School teams. Lashlee’s coaching career began at Arkansas in 2006, serving as a GA to then offensive coordinator Malzahn on Houston Nutt’s Razorback team.

Following the news becoming official, Auburn has issued a statement that included this statement from Malzahn:

“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. Our offenses have achieved great success and he has been a big part of that. This is a great opportunity for Rhett to implement and run his own offense. 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. I want to thank Rhett for all of his contributions and his friendship. I want to wish he and his wife Lauren all the best in this new endeavor.”

With Lashlee headed north, the big question on The Plains has to be who will replace Lashlee as the Tigers head into a critical season filled with high expectations. Auburn returns a loaded team that’s adding an elite transfer quarterback in Jarrett Stidham to join up with several talented receivers, running backs and an experienced offensive line that will be adding several high-profile recruits this offseason.