On Friday, Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin announced that Eric Kiesau was being promoted as the new offensive coordinator. Kiesau had been the Tigers wide receivers coach for most of 2021 after replacing Cornelius Williams in late September. He originally joined the coaching staff as an analyst when Harsin was hired after the 2020 season. This will be the third offensive coordinator for Harsin while with Auburn. He fired Mike Bobo following the season, and Austin Davis left the program due to personal reasons after less than two months on the job. Promoting from within makes sense after the latest drama with Harsin and the Auburn program. It would be hard to convince an outside candidate to come to Auburn with the possibility of a new head coach in 2023.
Auburn Promotes Eric Kiesau to Offensive Coordinator
Who is Eric Kiesau?
Eric Kiesau has previous offensive coordinator experience at Colorado (2009-10), Washington (2012-13), Fresno State (2016), and Boise State (2019-2020). Prior to coming to Auburn with Harsin, the only SEC coaching experience he had was a one-year stint with Alabama as an offensive analyst in 2015. In 2019 and 2020 the Boise State passing attack ranked top five in the Mountain West. Those units were led by quarterback Hank Bachmeier who finished top five in quarterback ranking both seasons. Quarterback development will be the focus for the 2022 Auburn Tigers.
With Bo Nix now off to Oregon, a big question is who will take over the job next. Auburn returns T.J. Finley and Dematrius Davis but also welcomes in three new quarterbacks. Auburn welcomes Zach Calzada (Texas A&M) and Robby Ashford (Oregon) from the transfer portal. In the 2022 signing class, they landed four-star quarterback Holden Geriner from Georgia. Quarterback will not be the only challenge for Kiesau. The offensive line has been an issue for the last few seasons and needs to be fixed. The same goes with the receivers. With all those issues he does have a good starting point with running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter.
More Staff Changes
The offensive coordinator is not the only recent change for the Auburn coaching staff. Harsin also promoted linebackers coach Jeff Schmedding to defensive coordinator after the departure of Derek Mason. The former Vanderbilt head coach left Auburn to take the same position at Oklahoma State with a $400,000.00 pay cut. That departure was only one of the many reasons the job status of Harsin was in question two weeks ago. Secondary coach Zac Etheridge also received a promotion to associate head coach. Unlike Kiesau and Schmedding, Etheridge is a product of Auburn being a captain on the 2010 National Championship team.