The Auburn coaching search continues after a long week of rumors surrounding Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin ended with Kiffin telling ESPN’s Chris Low that he is staying in Oxford, as reports have also indicated that Kiffin will sign an extension. 

Reports from Pete Thamel are also indicating that Auburn has moved on to Hugh Freeze of Liberty, though that has received some pushback from Auburn’s ever-vocal fanbase.

Either way, whoever will be named Auburn’s head coach will inherit a difficult situation that has been complicated by the success of interim head coach Cadillac Williams. Most interim head coaches are meant to simply be a bridge between administrations, but Williams' success and revitalization of the program have fans calling for the interim tag to be taken off, even after a 22-point loss to Alabama in the Iron Bowl.  

Williams was a carryover from the Malzahn administration to the Harsin era, and now it seems like he will remain on staff in some capacity under the next head coach. But which coaches on this staff should be kept after what has been a late-season turnaround? 

Keep: Cadillac

Appointing him to his old position is likely the best fit for a coach that is almost universally loved by the Auburn fanbase. Cadillac is one of Auburn’s best recruiters and is already one of the best running backs coaches in the SEC with the duo of Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter under his wing. At this rate, he might take an offensive coordinator position elsewhere in the near future, but if the new coach could find a way to keep Cadillac on staff, he should. The only issue is if the new head coach struggles, how long will it be before fans call for Cadillac to be made the interim once again?

On the Fence: Ike Hilliard

Hilliard’s prowess on the recruiting trail has already been shown with Auburn getting two 4-star receivers to commit this season. His experience in the NFL gives him an edge, however, he has only been on staff for one season, and the receiving corps has not been on full display with Auburn’s limited offensive abilities this year. Hilliard will have a job in college football next year, or he could go back to the pros.

Keep: Zac Etheridge

It will be all hands on deck on the recruiting trail for whoever takes over as head coach at Auburn. Alabama and Georgia have lapped the program in its last three seasons with the rest of the SEC West putting together great classes as well. Oklahoma and Texas will be in the SEC soon, and the conference is only going to get tougher. Etheridge has been a solid recruiter and good position coach for the Tigers over the past two years, and he bleeds the orange and blue. He is not someone Auburn should force the new head coach to keep, but it is certainly something the new coach could consider. 

Keep: Trovon Reed

Another man that bleeds the orange and blue on the Plains, Trovon Reed is not a position coach on staff, but he is director of Football and Recruiting Relations at Auburn. And while Auburn’s recruiting prowess did dwindle under Bryan Harsin, Reed’s own ability will be on display over the next month, and if he can pull a solid class out of this season, he makes a good argument for staying on the Plains.

Let Go: Will Friend

Friend has been a vital part of the resurgence of Auburn in the last four games of the season as the offense has managed over 1,000 yards on the ground in those last four games. Despite this, the new head coach will likely have an offensive coordinator in mind, and the offensive line’s issues under Friend during the past two years cannot be ignored, so Friend’s time on the Plains is likely at an end.

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