March 2, 2011
AUBURN -- Mike Pelton, a former All-SEC standout at Auburn, has been named defensive line coach at his alma mater, announced head coach Gene Chizik Wednesday. Pelton worked under Chizik as the defensive line coach at Iowa State from 2007-08.
"I'm very excited and humbled to return to Auburn and be a part of what Coach Chizik and his staff have built during the last two years," Pelton said. "I look forward to working with a young defensive line and getting them ready to compete next season. Auburn has always had a special place in my heart and it's been my goal to coach at my alma mater. I can't wait to return to the Plains and get started."
As a player at Auburn, Pelton was a standout defensive tackle at Auburn, earning first team All-SEC recognition in 1994. A four-year letterman from 1991-94, Pelton was a co-captain as a senior and helped the Tigers win a school-record 20 consecutive games from 1993-94.
"I was fortunate to have Mike on my previous staff and I have known him for several years," Chizik said. "He's a great coach, a tireless worker and an outstanding recruiter who has mentored some very good players, including NFL standouts Demarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora, both who are from Auburn. Mike is very familiar with the state and region, and he knows what it takes to coach and recruit in the Southeastern Conference. We look forward to having a member of the Auburn Family return home and join our staff."
Pelton, 39, was hired in January as defensive line coach at Louisiana Lafayette after serving as defensive ends coach at Vanderbilt in 2010.
At Iowa State, Pelton's defensive lines were an area of strong improvement during the Chizik era. Pelton mentored a pair of second-team All-Big 12 selections at Iowa State in nose guard Ahtyba Rubin and defensive end Kurtis Taylor. Rubin just finished his second year as a starter for the Cleveland Browns after being selected in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL draft.
Prior to working under Chizik at Iowa State, Pelton spent six years under Larry Blakeney on the staff at Troy, including the final two years at co-defensive coordinator.
The Troy defense was consistently among the nation's leaders in several categories. In 2002, the Trojans ranked fourth nationally, allowing just 277 total yards per game. In 2004, the Trojans ranked 16th in total defense.
Pelton worked with two of the most prolific defensive linemen in Troy history, in Demarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora. A six-year veteran, Ware is a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro linebacker with Dallas. Umenyiora is a two-time Pro Bowl defensive end for the New York Giants.
Prior to going to Troy, Pelton coached the defensive line at Valdosta State (Ga.) University in 2000. The Blazers posted a 10-2 record and made the NCAA Division II playoffs.
Pelton was a fifth-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1995 NFL Draft
He graduated from Auburn in 1995 with a degree in Health & Sports Science.
Pelton and his wife, Staci, are the parents of three daughters: Myesa, 14; Tyra, 11; and Peyton, 1.