July 23, 2024

Auburn is set to welcome Charles Kelly, a former Auburn player and Colorado’s defensive coordinator, to their coaching staff. The report, initially disclosed by 247 Sports’ Matt Zenitz, indicates that Hugh Freeze and the Auburn Tigers are likely to bring Kelly aboard despite his recent tenure at Colorado, joining Deion Sanders’ team on December 6, 2022.

Kelly’s move comes after just a single season with the Buffaloes. At Auburn, he’s expected to work on the defensive staff led by defensive coordinator Ron Roberts. Auburn’s former defensive backs coach Wesley McGriff transitioned to an off-field role, with special teams coordinator Tanner Burns temporarily filling the void. Kelly is anticipated to take over the on-field role, coaching Auburn’s secondary alongside Zac Etheridge.

Before his stint with Sanders’ team, Kelly spent time at Alabama, serving as the Crimson Tide’s associate defensive coordinator and safeties coach from 2019 to 2022. His tenure in Tuscaloosa coincided with an impressive 47-6 record for Alabama, including a national title win in 2020.

Kelly’s coaching career also includes a season at Tennessee in 2018 following a substantial period at Florida State. His roles at FSU ranged from special teams coordinator and linebackers coach in 2013 to later becoming FSU’s defensive coordinator from 2014 to 2017. During his time in Tallahassee, Florida State’s defense consistently ranked among the top 25 in his final three seasons.

He began his FBS coaching journey as Georgia Tech’s special teams coordinator in 2006, remaining with the program for seven seasons.

Kelly’s addition to Auburn’s coaching staff is expected to bolster the team’s already strong recruiting efforts. Notably, he was recognized as the national recruiter of the year by 247 Sports last year. A native of Ozark, Ala., Kelly graduated from Auburn in 1990 with a degree in secondary math education, later earning his master’s degree in education from Troy in 2002.

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