AUBURN, Ala., Nov. 28 -- Tommy Tuberville, who in 1994 was asked to rebuild a Mississippi program hit hard by NCAA sanctions, now faces another resurrection job as the new head coach at Auburn. The school announced that Tuberville, who took the Rebels to a bowl game last year and posted a second straight winning record this season, will be named the 25th coach at Auburn. Tuberville, 48, becomes the Tigers' third coach in just over a month. Terry Bowden, who led the progarm for five-plus seasons, resigned suddenly on October 23 after a 1-5 start. Defensive coordinator Bill Oliver was named interim coach for the final five games but decided not to seek the job following Auburn's season-ending loss to archrival Alabama. 'Needless to say, we are excited to be in Auburn and plan on being here a long, long time,' Tuberville said. 'This is the kind of program I've spent my entire career dreaming about coaching in. Auburn is the kind of place where you can win championships and we plan on doing just that.' Tuberville took over at Mississippi following a 4-7 campaign in 1994 and immediately led a turnaround to 6-5 in 1995 despite having just 61 players on scholarship. Although the Rebels fell to 5-6 in 1996, the team rebounded to eight wins in 1997, including a 34-31 victory over Marshall in the Motor City Bowl, the school's first bowl appearance since 1992. Mississippi finished 6-5 this season and appears headed to the postseason for the second straight season.
'You can't be around the Southeastern Conference over the last several years and not be impressed with the job Tommy Tuberville has done at Ole Miss,' Auburn athletic director David Housel said. 'At a time when most expected the Ole Miss program to be down due to scholarship sanctions, he not only kept the program competitive, he won. ' The success Tuberville experiences at Auburn will be compared to the job done by Bowden. The son of longtime Florida State coach Bobby Bowden and younger brother of Tulane coach Tommy, Terry Bowden won his first 20 games after taking over the Tigers in 1993. He led a probation-depleted team to an 11-0 record in 1993 and is the only coach in Division I-A history to go undefeated and untied in his inaugural campaign. After signing a contract extnesion thourgh 2004 in December, things turned sour this year for Bowden and the Tigers. Auburn lost its first three home games and dropped four straight contests for the first time since ending the 1976 season with four defeats. Prior to his first collegiate head coaching job at Ole Miss, Tuberville spent time at two of the nation's most prestigous progarms. In 1994 he, served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Texas A&M and was a member of the University of Miami staff for eight seasons. While serving on the staffs at A&M and Miami, Tuberville was part of three national championships. The Hurricanes posted an 87-9 record in that span and played in eight consecutive New Year's Day bowls. Tuberville, a 1976 graduate of Southern Arkansas, began his collegiate coaching career at Arkansas State in 1980, spending one season as defensive ends coach before becoming the Indians' linebackers coach for four years.