South Carolina's loss is another Southeastern Conference rival's gain.
Sources on Wednesday confirmed to FootballScoop that veteran defensive line coach Tracy Rocker departed the Gamecocks' and first-year coach Shane Beamer's staff for a spot at his alma mater, Auburn University, on the staff of first-year coach Bryan Harsin.
Rocker was a two-time All-American and Outland Trophy winner for the Tigers in the late-1980s.
Rocker has been a well-regarded defensive line coach and logged time now with six different Southeastern Conference schools. His return to Auburn will mark his second coaching stint at his alma mater. Rocker also early in his coaching career was on staff at Auburn High School.
The Gamecocks have lost multiple staffers in recent weeks – just to Harsin's fledgling Auburn staff. The exits of just-hired offensive line coach Will Friend and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, who logged a year at South Carolina and served as interim coach after the school fired Will Muschamp in November, preceded Rocker's departure to the Plains.
Beamer had nearly completed his Gamecocks staff prior to Rocker's exit, as the son of Hall of Fame coach Frank Beamer and the former top Oklahoma assistant coach had only an offensive line coach vacancy. Beamer earlier this week hired strength coach Luke Day away from Marshall, assistant coach Byron Jerideau away from Tennessee and Torrian Gray, most recently of Florida, to work with the South Carolina secondary.
Now Beamer has two spots left to fill, and the musical chairs continue around the Southeastern Conference.
Earlier this week, after FootballScoop had reported on January 2 that Jeremy Pruitt had interest in hiring a pair of then-Auburn staffers – Kevin Steele and Rodney Garner, Pruitt and the Vols hired Steele on Tuesday.
Steele was hired into an on-field assistant coach role for the Vols, who had sought a replacement for the fired Jimmy Brumbaugh since October. Pruitt earlier had tried to hire Bo Davis, but Davis, a former Pruitt colleague at Alabama, opted instead to join the Texas staff under new Longhorns coach Steve Sarkisian.
Tennessee still could have multiple assistant coaching positions open in the coming days and weeks. The Vols have two assistant coaches on expiring contracts, wideouts coach Tee Martin and linebackers coach Brian Niedermeyer, and, sources confirmed to FootballScoop, other Vols assistant coaches have spoken with additional college football programs about leaving Rocky Top to join their staffs.
Never a dull day when #ItJustMeansMore.
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