May 12, 2014
Coach Kodi Burns coached 'em up in Auburn's spring practice
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. -- Auburn fan-favorite Kodi Burns is leaving his alma mater to become the running backs coach at Samford, and his new and former head coach praised the move.
Burns spent last season as an Auburn graduate assistant coach with the offense.
Burns is following in the footsteps of Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, who left his post as a Tigers' graduate assistant after the 2010 season to become the offensive coordinator at Samford. Two years later, he was back at Auburn running the offense.
Samford coach Pat Sullivan, who won a Heisman Trophy at Auburn, hired both.
"Kodi has excelled as a player and coach, but more importantly, he is an outstanding person," Sullivan said in a statement. "He will be a tireless recruiter that will relate well to both our players and coaches. We could not be more excited to have Kodi join the Samford football family."
Burns worked with Lashlee and Auburn coach Gus Malzahn at Arkansas State in 2012 and then at Auburn last season.
Malzahn, in particular, knows Burns, all the way back to his days as a high school quarterback in Arkansas.
"I got a chance to watch Kodi Burns grow up," Malzahn said. "I got a chance to coach him, and to see him as a coach who did a very good job for us at Arkansas State, and here last year. He did a great job. Now, he's got a chance to be a coach at this level, and he's got a bright future. He'll be very successful."
Malzahn said he was happy to Burns follow Lashlee's coaching ladder.
"I think there's a lot of similarities there," he said. "I could see him doing the exact same things."
Burns began his Auburn playing career at quarterback, but famously stepped aside when Chris Todd beat him out for the job and willingly moved to wide receiver for the good of the team. Auburn fans immediately gravitated to him. He caught a touchdown pass in the BCS title game that Auburn won to close out the 2010 season.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine