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Thomas Hawley Tuberville (born September 18, 1954) is an American college football coach who served as the head coach of the Auburn Tigers football team until December 3, 2008, when he was paid to resign from the position after completing his tenth season.

Tuberville was the 2004 recipient of the Walter Camp and Paul Bryant Coach of the Year awards after Auburn's 13–0 season. He earned his 100th career win on October 6, 2007 in a 35–7 victory over Vanderbilt. He is also the only football coach in Auburn history to beat in-state rival Alabama six consecutive times.

Early years

Tuberville was born and raised in Camden, Arkansasmarker. He graduated from Harmony Grove High School in Camden in 1972. He received a B.S. degree in physical education from Southern Arkansas Universitymarker in 1976.

Coaching career

Early career

Tuberville coached at Hermitage High School in Arkansas to begin his career. Tuberville was an assistant coach at Arkansas State Universitymarker. He then went through the ranks at the University of Miamimarker, 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 Universitymarker. The Aggies went 10–0–1 that season.

Ole Miss

Tuberville got his first collegiate head coaching job at the University of Mississippimarker. 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. Tuberville is "infamous" at Ole Miss making the statement “They’ll have to carry me out of here in a pine box” in reference to not leaving to coach at another school. Two days after he made that statement, it was announced that he was leaving to go to Auburn, leaving some upset fans at Ole Miss.


He left Ole Miss following the 1998 regular season to take the head coaching job at Auburn Universitymarker. During his tenure at Auburn, Tuberville 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. Tuberville received Coach of the Year awards from the Associated Press, 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, Tuberville led Auburn to a 9–3 record, finishing the regular season with victories over rivals Georgiamarker and Alabama.

Under Tuberville, Auburn had a winning record against its biggest rival, Alabama (7–3), and was tied with its next two most significant rivals, Georgia (5–5) and LSUmarker (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 Floridamarker. Tuberville had a 5-2 career record versus Top 5 teams, including 3 wins versus Florida. However, Tuberville developed a reputation for losing games where he clearly had the better team. Examples include a humbling 24-point loss to a then 4–5 Alabama team in 2001, and back-to-back losses to Vanderbilt (first time Auburn lost to Vandy in over five decades) and Arkansasmarker 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 Louisvillemarker 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 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 coached 8 All-Americans and a Thorpe Award winner (Carlos Rogers). Thirty-four players under Tuberville were named to All-SEC (First Team). Eighteen players were named All-SEC freshman. His players were named SEC player of the week 46 times. He 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 Virginiamarker, and a final 36–0 loss to Alabama, he resigned from Auburn. Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs claimed that Tuberville voluntarily resigned. Jacobs added: "To say the least, I was a little shocked. But after three times of asking him would he change his mind, he convinced me that the best thing for him and his family and for this football program was for him to possibly take a year off and take a step back." With his departure, Tuberville will be paid a pro-rated buyout of $5.1 million. The payments include $3 million within 30 days of his resignation date and the remaining amount within a year later.

Post Auburn

Starting in the 2009 football season, Tuberville will be working as an Analyst for ESPN discussing the SEC and the Top 25 on various ESPN shows.

Currently being considered for the head coaching position of The University of Louisville Cardinals vacated by Steve Kragthorpe on November 28, 2009.

Head coaching record

Tuberville before the 2007 Vanderbilt game, his 100th career win.

‡ Ole Miss was on probation in 1995 and 1996

Personal life and community involvement

Tuberville is married to Suzanne (née Fette) of Guilford, Indianamarker. They are the parents of two sons, Tucker and Troy.

Tuberville is an active member of the Auburn Church of Christand 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.


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