Lolley, Thigpen Named Secondary Coaches At Auburn
Feb. 15, 2009
AUBURN--Phillip Lolley and Tommy Thigpen have been named secondary coaches at Auburn, announced head coach Gene Chizik Sunday. A member of the Auburn staff since 1999 and secondary coach in 2002-03, Lolley has been the Tigers' Director of NFL Relations the last five years. A former All-ACC linebacker at North Carolina, Thigpen spent the last four seasons as the Tar Heels' linebackers coach.
Defensive coordinator Ted Roof will oversee the linebackers, Chizik also announced.
"I'm very pleased to complete my staff with the additions of Phillip Lolley and Tommy Thigpen as secondary coaches," Chizik said.
Lolley coached Auburn's secondary in 2002-03, helping the Tigers finish 13th in nation in scoring defense in 2002 and ninth in 2003. Lolley coached Thorpe Award winner Carlos Rogers and Junior Rosegreen, who both went on to earn All-America honors in 2004. During his two years, he coached numerous future NFL players including Rogers, Rosegreen, Will Herring, Kevin Hobbs, Roderick Hood, Travaris Robinson, and Horace Willis.
"I coached side-by-side with Phillip when I was defensive coordinator at Auburn and it was very evident that he's a great coach," Chizik said. "He's been successful at every level and he will also be a valuable asset because of his strong relationships with high school programs and coaches in the state of Alabama."
A 22-year high school coach standout in the state of Alabama, Lolley
served as head coach at three schools, including North Jackson High
School, where he led the program to the 1993 4A state championship. A
native of Butler, Ala., Lolley spent 10 years at North Jackson from
1988-98, where they advanced to the state playoffs each season.
"It was a great experience working with Coach Chizik during his previous tenure at Auburn," Lolley said. "He had the nation's top defense in 2004 and I look forward to working with Ted Roof to help return the Auburn defense to one of the best in the country. I'm pleased to be back on the field as part of the Auburn family and am very excited to start back recruiting the great state of Alabama."
Lolley began his coaching career at South Choctaw Academy in 1977 before becoming the head coach at Warrior Academy in Eutaw, from 1978-82. He also served as defensive coordinator at Demopolis High School (1982-84) and head coach at Stevenson High School (1984-87).
Prior to his coaching stint at Auburn, Lolley was a strength and conditioning coach on the Plains from 1999-00.
Lolley, 55, received a bachelor's degree from Livingston in 1977 and a master's degree in 1981. He is married to the former Ann Miller and the couple has a son, Brad, and daughter, Brittany.
An exceptional recruiter, Thigpen was named one of the nation's top 25 recruiters in 2007 by Rivals.com and tutored UNC's leading tacklers in each of his four seasons at Chapel Hill.
"Tommy has had a tremendous amount of success at every stop he's made as an assistant coach," Chizik said. "I've been well aware of him since his days as a standout player at North Carolina and have followed his professional career very closely. I'm extremely pleased to be adding someone with his professionalism and coaching expertise to this staff."
Prior to his arrival at North Carolina, Thigpen was at Illinois, where he coached for two years serving as the cornerbacks coach in 2003 and the linebackers coach in 2004.
"I'm excited about the opportunity to work at a tradition-rich program like Auburn and for an outstanding coach in Gene Chizik. It was a tough decision to leave my alma mater, but this is a great step for me professionally. I've known Ted Roof from his days in the ACC and played for (former UNC and current Texas head coach) Mack Brown, so I'm very familiar with the outstanding coaches that are in place at Auburn. I can't wait to get started and look forward to joining the Auburn family."
He began his coaching career as a UNC graduate assistant in 1998-99. He then coached linebackers at Tennessee State in 2000. In 2001-02, he coached cornerbacks and was the special team's coordinator at Bowling Green State.
At Bowling Green State, Thigpen helped coach one of the Mid-American Conference's top defenses, leading the MAC in turnover margin in 2002. BGSU also finished second in the MAC in pass efficiency defense, while Thigpen's special teams also were impressive, blocking seven punts and one field goal.
Thigpen, 38, achieved accolades as a Parade All-America and Virginia Defensive Player of the Year at Potomac High School in Dumfries, Va.
A four-year letterwinner at North Carolina from 1989- 92, Thigpen was a three-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference linebacker, earning first-team honors in 1991. He was co-captain of the 1992 team that went 9-3 were Peach Bowl champions. He holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Carolina.
Thigpen played professionally for the New York Giants in 1993-94 and the Barcelona Dragons in 1995-96.
Thigpen is married to the former Jacinda Webb and the couple has a daughter, Asia. In May 2008, Thigpen was selected by the Atlantic Coast Conference to attend the Minority Coaches Forum in Phoenix.
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