Less than 24 hours after offensive line coach Herb Hand departed Auburn for the same role at Texas, Gus Malzahn turned to a familiar face to fill the role.
J.B. Grimes will return to Auburn as the offensive line coach after working from 2013-2015 on The Plains. He also worked with Malzahn in 2012 at Arkansas State.
“I’m really excited about the opportunity to get back to the Plains,” Grimes said in a statement released by the university. “I’ve always loved Auburn and have always loved the people at Auburn. They are my type of people. Auburn people love the game of football and know what it takes to win. I can’t wait to get back and work with coach Malzahn and the rest of the coaches and staff that I know and have worked with before. I hold them dear to my heart. I look forward to getting to work and doing my part to help Auburn win football games.”
Grimes spent 2016 at Cincinnati under former Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville before taking over the offensive line in 2017 for UConn under former Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee.
Grimes’ offensive line led the way for the Tigers in 2013 when Auburn led the nation in rushing with 328.3 yards per game. Grimes coached future NFL Draft picks Greg Robinson and Shon Coleman along with Rimington Award winner Reese Dismukes during his three-year stint at Auburn.
“It’s great to have J.B. Grimes returning to the Auburn Family,” Malzahn said in a statement. “He played a big part in our success in 2013 when we won the SEC Championship and led the nation in rushing. J.B. is a tremendous coach and teacher, is familiar with our players and coaches, and is a great addition to our program.”
Grimes, a 30-year coaching veteran, has stops at Arkansas, Virginia Tech, Texas A&M, East Carolina, Mississippi State and Kansas prior to his stints at Arkansas State, Auburn, Cincinnati and UConn.