Marcus Woodson has been hired as the tenth assistant coach at Auburn, head coach Gus Malzahn announced Wednesday. Woodson, who has 13 years of coaching experience including the last two at Memphis, will coach on the defensive side of the ball. Woodson played collegiately at Ole Miss from 1999-2003.
"I'm very excited and humbled to be a part of the Auburn family and join Coach Malzahn's staff. Growing up in Mississippi and playing in the SEC, I am very familiar with the history of success at Auburn and can't wait to do my part to help with the winning tradition. I look forward to working with the defense and recruit the best players in the country to Auburn."
During his two years at Memphis, the Tigers won 18 games and made two bowl appearances. In the last two seasons, the Memphis defense forced 60 turnovers, the second best total in the nation, including 32 interceptions. This past season under Woodson's watch, freshman defensive back T.J. Carter was named to the ESPN.com and USA Today Freshman All-America teams and was the American Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year after setting a Memphis freshman record with five interceptions.
"We're very excited to add Marcus to our staff," Malzahn said. "He is an outstanding coach, recruiter and an even better person. Marcus is a tireless worker and will be a great fit with our staff. He did a super job for Coach Norvell at Memphis and will do a great job at Auburn."
In 2016, Woodson's defensive backfield helped the Tigers become one of the nation's most opportunistic units, forcing opponents to turn the ball over 29 times. The 29 caused turnovers were tied for fifth nationally, and of those 29 turnovers.. Not only did the Tigers force turnovers, they capitalized on the opponents' miscues. The defense also ranked in top-20 in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in turnover margin at +8, coming in at 18th nationally.
As part of the turnover-creating defense, Woodson's defensive backfield helped Memphis total 16 picks in 2016, the second-most by a Tigers squad since 2000 (trails only 2014 team with 17). Of those 16 interceptions, 11 were by Woodson's secondary. The leader of Woodson's 2016 defensive backs was Arthur Maulet, and he flourished in his final collegiate season. Maulet led the team with 13 pass break-ups and tied for team honors with two interceptions. From his secondary position, Maulet logged 7.5 TFL and 4.5 sacks. In May of 2017, Maulet signed a free agent contract with his hometown New Orleans Saints.
In his previous collegiate coaching stints at Fresno State, Charleston Southern and Millsaps College, Woodson developed 10 all-conference players.
Woodson spent two seasons as the defensive backs coach at Fresno State in 2014-15. In 2014, he mentored All-Mountain West Conference first-team defensive back Derron Smith, who was an NFL Draft sixth-round pick by the Cincinnati Bengals. Woodson also instrumental in helping lead Fresno State to a 2014 Hawaii Bowl appearance.
From 2009-13, Woodson served as the defensive backs coach at Charleston Southern University. He added the defensive passing game coordinator title before the 2012 season. In 2013, Charleston Southern finished the campaign with a 10-3 record and a No. 22 national ranking. The Buccaneers finished the season with the nation's No. 3 pass defense. In his five seasons at Charleston Southern, Woodson developed five All-Big South Conference players.
Woodson served an integral role in leading Millsaps College to three-consecutive Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) championships from 2006-08. In 2008, Millsaps finished with an 11-1 record and a No. 12 national ranking. In his three seasons, Woodson coached four All-SCAC performers.
Woodson was a two-year starter at defensive back during the David Cutcliffe era at Ole Miss. He was a member of Rebels teams that earned four postseason trips to the Independence Bowl (1999), Music City Bowl (2000), Independence Bowl (2002) and Cotton Bowl (2003).
A 2003 University of Mississippi graduate, Woodson earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. He also was selected for the Senior Leadership Unity Council.
He and his wife, Chastity, have two sons, Carter and Bryce.