Tommy Tuberville

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Thomas Hawley Tuberville (born September 18, 1954 in Camden, Arkansas) is a former college football coach. He led the Auburn Tigers football team for 10 seasons, from 1999 to 2008.

Tuberville was the 2004 recipient of the Walter Camp and Bear Bryant Coach of the Year awards for Auburn's 13–0 perfect season. He earned his 100th career win on October 6, 2007 in a 35–7 victory over Vanderbilt. He is also the only coach in Auburn history to beat in-state rival University of Alabama six consecutive times. His 2008 team posted a 5–7 record including the worst loss to Alabama (36–0) in 46 years.

Coaching career

Tuberville began his coaching career at Hermitage High School in Hermitage, Arkansas. From there he was hired as an assistant on the staff at Arkansas State University. He then went through the ranks at the University of Miami, beginning as graduate assistant and ending as defensive coordinator in 1993 and winning the national championship three times during his tenure there (1986 - 1994). In 1994, Tuberville replaced Bob Davie as defensive coordinator under R. C. Slocum at Texas A&M University. The Aggies went 10–0–1 that season.

Tuberville got his first collegiate head coaching job at the University of Mississippi. He took over a Rebel team under severe NCAA scholarship sanctions and was named the AP SEC Coach of the Year in 1997. During his tenure, he acquired the nickname "The Riverboat Gambler" for his aggressive play calling, particularly on 4th down.

He left Ole Miss following the 1998 regular season to take the head coaching job at Auburn University. During his tenure at Auburn, Tuberville has guided the Tigers to the top of the SEC standings, leading the Tigers to an SEC Championship and the Western Division title in 2004. Under his direction, the Tigers made eight consecutive bowl appearances including five New Year's Day bowl berths.

The Auburn Tigers were a perfect 13–0 in 2004 including the SEC title and a win over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. Coach Tuberville received Coach of the Year awards from the AP, the American Football Coaches Association, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

In 2005, despite losing the entire starting backfield from the unbeaten 2004 team to the first round of the NFL draft, Coach Tuberville led Auburn to a 9–3 record, finishing the regular season with victories over rivals Georgia and Alabama.

Under Tuberville, Auburn has a winning record against its biggest rival,Alabama (7–3), and is tied with its next two most significant rivals,Georgia (5–5) and LSU (5–5). He led Auburn to 6 straight victories over in-state rival Alabama, the longest win streak in this rivalry since 1982, which was the year Auburn broke Alabama's 9 year streak.

Tuberville also established himself as one of the best big game coaches in college football, winning 9 of their last 15 games against Top 10 opponents (since the start of the 2004 season). In 2006, his Tigers recorded victories over two Top 5 teams who later played in BCS bowls, including eventual BCS Champion Florida. Tuberville has a 5-2 career record versus Top 5 teams, including 3 wins versus Florida. However, Tuberville also developed a reputation for losing games where he clearly had the better team. Examples include a humbling 24-point loss to a then 5-win Alabama team in 2001, and back-to-back losses to Vanderbilt (first time Auburn had lost to Vandy in over five decades) and Arkansas in 2008. In fact, after dropping 3 straight SEC games in 2003, Auburn booster Bobby Lowder, along with Auburn's President Walker and Athletic Director Housel, contacted then Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino to gauge his interest in taking the Auburn job, if Tuberville was fired. The press found out about the meeting, which occurred just prior to the 2003 Alabama game, and the episode has since been referred to as 'JetGate'.

Tuberville has coached 19 players who were selected in the NFL draft, including four first round picks in 2004, with several others signing as free agents. He has coached 8 All-Americans and a Thorpe Award winner (Carlos Rogers). Thirty-four players under Tuberville have been named to All-SEC (First Team). Eighteen players have been named All-SEC freshman. His players have been named SEC player of the week 46 times. He has also had 2 SEC players of the year and one SEC Championship game MVP.

Tuberville fired Tony Franklin as the offensive coordinator of Auburn on October 8, 2008. After the 2008 season, with a 5-7 record highlighted by losses to Vanderbilt, West Virginia, and a final 36-0 loss to Alabama, he resigned from Auburn.

On January 10, 2010, Tuberville was named head coach of the Texas Tech University Red Raiders, succeeding Mike Leach. Over three seasons he compiled a 20–17 record, winning 9 of 17 Big 12 conference games. He resigned at the end of the 2012 regualar season to accept an offer from the University of Cincinnati.

Tuberville's first two Cincinnati teams both claimed nine wins and went to bowl games, but the team's record declined over the next two years In 2015 he served a one-year term as the president of the American Football Coaches Association.

Preceded by:
Bill Oliver (interim)
Auburn University Head Football Coach
Succeeded by:
Gene Chizik

Head coaching record (159-99)

  • Ole Miss Rebels (25-20)
    • 1995: 6-5
    • 1996: 5-6
    • 1997: 8-4 (won Motor City Bowl, finished ranked #22 in AP & Coaches Polls)
    • 1998: 6-5
  • Auburn Tigers (85-40)
    • 1999: 5-6
    • 2000: 9-4 (won SEC West title, lost SEC Championship, lost in Citrus Bowl, finished ranked #18 in AP & #20 in Coaches Poll)
    • 2001: 7-5 (lost in Peach Bowl)
    • 2002: 9-4 (won Capital One Bowl, finished ranked #14 in AP & #16 in Coaches Poll)
    • 2003: 8-5 (won Music City Bowl)
    • 2004: 13-0 (won SEC West title, won SEC Championship, won Sugar Bowl, finished ranked #2 in AP & Coaches Polls)
    • 2005: 9-3 (lost in Capital One Bowl, finished ranked #14 in AP & Coaches Polls)
    • 2006: 11-2 (won Cotton Bowl, finished ranked #9 in AP & #8 in Coaches Poll)
    • 2007: 9-4 (won Chick-fil-A Bowl, finished ranked #15 in AP & #14 in Coaches Poll)
    • 2008: 5-7
  • Texas Tech Red Raiders (20-17)
    • 2010: 8–5 (won Ticket City Bowl)
    • 2011: 5-7
    • 2012: 7-5 (resigned before the team won the Meineke Car Care Bowl)
  • Cincinnati Bearcats (20-22)
    • 2013: 9-4 (lost the Belk Bowl)
    • 2014: 9-4 (lost the Military Bowl)
    • 2015: 7-6 (lost the Hawaii Bowl)
    • 2016: 4-8

Personal and community

Tuberville married the former Suzanne Fette of Guilford, Indiana in 1991. They are the parents of two sons, Tucker and Troy.

Tuberville is an active member of the Auburn Church of Christ and contributes time and resources to other organizations within the Auburn community including Storybook Farm, an equestrian-based program offering free therapeutic care to children with debilitating illnesses and those suffering from bereavement. Additionally, he hosts charity golf tournaments for Camp ASCAA, the Girls and Boys Club of Montgomery, the Auburn University Marching Band, and the Alabama Sheriff's Youth Ranch.

After leaving coaching, Tuberville was hired by ESPN as a color analyst for their college football coverage. In 2019 Tuberville launched a campaign for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat held by Doug Jones.

Tuberville co-managed a hedge fund with Auburn-based commodities trader John David Stroud. Stroud pleaded guilty to securities fraud in 2013 and was sentenced to 10 years in jail. A lawsuit related to the fraud named Tuberville as a co-defendant. That portion of the suit was settled in October 2013.


External links