With more than 30 years coaching at the collegiate level on his impressive resume, J.B. Grimes, who helped the Tigers to a 2013 SEC Championship and a BCS Championship berth this season, is in his first sesaon as the offensive line coach at Auburn.
Auburn is tied for the biggest turnaround in college football history in NCAA records at +8.5 games. Grimes coached Rimington Award finalist junior center Reese Dismukes. Dismukes and junior left tackle Greg Robinson were both first-team All-SEC selections while left guard Alex Kozan was named to the Coaches All-SEC Freshman team.
The offensive line paved the way for the Tigers to lead the nation in rushing with 335.7 yards per game. Running back Tre Mason was a Heisman Trophy finalist and named the SEC Player of the Year while Nick Marshall was an Associated Press honorable mention All-SEC selection. The line allowed only 1.23 sacks per game to tie for 21st nationally.
Grimes, who is coaching in his 16th bowl game and has coached numerous NFL players, spent the 2012 season as the offensive line coach at Arkansas State with Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn.
"J.B. is a tremendous coach who is one of the nation's top teachers at the offensive line position," Malzahn said. "He has an incredible resume coaching the position and has taught countless players at the NFL level. We're fortunate to have him in our program at Auburn."
During the 2012 season at Arkansas State, Grimes coached an offensive line unit that helped set a school record with 481.8 yards of total offense per game while ranking 16th nationally in fewest sacks allowed. Senior offensive lineman Zach McKnight earned first-team All-Sun Belt honors under Grimes' direction as the offense led the Sun Belt in rushing and ranked in the top 25 nationally in total offense, scoring offense and rushing offense.
Prior to his arrival at ASU, Grimes spent two seasons at Kansas (2010-11) and Mississippi State (2004-08) as the offensive line coach. Grimes' coaching career also includes stints at East Carolina, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech, Arkansas, Louisiana-Monroe and Delta State as an assistant coach over the last three decades.
In his first season at Mississippi State, the Bulldogs rushed for 1,744 yards, the most at the school in four years. Behind his offensive line, MSU produced three seasons with a 1,000-yard rusher. In his one season at East Carolina (2003), the Pirates' offensive line paved the way for its third straight 1,000-yard individual rusher. At Texas A&M (1998-2002), Grimes coached the offensive line under R.C. Slocum as the Aggies posted a 40-22 overall record while playing in four straight bowl games.
While at Virginia Tech (1993-97) coaching for Frank Beamer, Grimes helped the Hokies to back-to-back Big East Championships and five bowl games in five seasons.
Grimes also coached at Arkansas, serving as a graduate assistant in 1981-82 and as a full-time assistant coach in 1989-92, where he helped the Razorbacks to the Southwest Conference championship and a Cotton Bowl appearance in 1990. At Arkansas, Grimes worked for Lou Holtz, Ken Hatfield and Jack Crowe.
Grimes also coached at Louisiana-Monroe (1979-80; 1985-88), Delta State (1983) and Missouri (1984) after spending his first two seasons at the high school level in the state of Arkansas, at Nashville (1977) and Des Arc (1978). Louisiana-Monroe won the 1987 Division I-AA national championship.
As an offensive lineman at Henderson State, he helped his team to a 40-6 record in four seasons, including a berth in the 1974 NAIA Championship game. He earned a bachelor's degree in education from Henderson State in 1977 and a master's degree in education from Louisiana-Monroe in 1981.
Grimes grew up in Clarendon, Ark., and is married to the former Jennifer Graves, who received a degree in advertising and public relations from Arkansas. The couple has four children, sons Aaron and Nick and daughters Danielle and Lindsey.