July 7, 2013
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN — Scott Fountain has made the transition from player personnel director on last year's Auburn football staff to a coaching position on Auburn's new football staff, and, gosh, are his ears burning.
He's heard the new coaching staff evaluate some of the ideas of the old coaching staff.
"You come in with a new staff and you keep one guy… and that guy gets beat up a little bit. I was that guy that got beat up a little bit," Fountain says with a smile.
It's not personal. It's football.
"These new guys are trying to evaluate everything. Was it the players? Was it 'this'? Was it 'that'?" Fountain said. "If they say things, it might bother you because you might have taken a lot of pride in something. At the same time, I always think there are a lot of ideas out there that can make you better. You have to be willing to adjust and change.
"I felt like I had an opportunity to be very helpful to the new staff, explaining the ropes here, how things work, the chain of command and the background of some of the kids on the team. I know in some ways I was helpful to them, but there are some times when you have to swallow your pride and go on."
Besides, Fountain wasn't a coach last season. He helped in the day-to-day adminstrative operation with a focus on recruiting.
Fountain is a football survivor, from being an undersized offensive lineman at Samford, to moving up the coaching ladder, to coaching with Gene Chizik to Iowa State, to moving to Auburn in an administrative role in 2009. That was his job for four years, and would be seemingly be his job in 2013 for Gus Malzahn as well — until Rich Bisaccia left for the NFL a few weeks after taking a job as Auburn assistant. A change here and there and Fountain was back on the field as Malzahn's tight ends and special teams coach.
"I made it known to him I wanted to coach on the field, which he knew from being here previously," Fountain said. "I was told if that opportunity came available I would. At the same time, I’ve never taken a job banking on 'what ifs'. I took this job knowing it was going to be an administrative job and hoping this would happen.
"If you work hard in life and do a good job, doors will open. That’s what I tried to do."
Fountain said he appreciates the chance.
"It’s been awesome," he said. "I haven’t missed the administrative side at all. It’s really been fun because it gives you a chance to get back into film study.
"I’ve always tried to stay in touch with the game. I took spring break to go meet with a couple of guys I have worked with at previous jobs or have respect for. It’s fun to get back out and rekindle some of those relationships and also to get back to talking football, which is what I enjoy doing."
Charles Goldberg writes for AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine