Brian VanGorder leaving Falcons for Auburn

FLOWERY BRANCHBrian VanGorder, the Falcons defensive coordinator for the last four

These two have to get the pass defense figured out.  Here, Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder emphasies a point with head coach Mike Smith during defensive drills with players in the first padded practice at training camp in Flowery Branch on Monday, August 1, 2011.   Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

These two have to get the pass defense figured out. Here, Falcons defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder emphasies a point with head coach Mike Smith during defensive drills with players in the first padded practice at training camp in Flowery Branch on Monday, August 1, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

 seasons, resigned to accept the same post at Auburn on Monday.

“Coach Brian VanGorder has accepted the position of defensive coordinator at Auburn University,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “Brian has been an integral part of our success here over the last four years. I want to thank Brian and his family for all that they’ve done for our organization.  I want to personally thank Brian for all of his hard work and all the work that he’s done to make us successful here in Atlanta.”

Smith was a defensive coordinator under former Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio. He would not say if Del Rio, who was fired in Jacksonville, would be a candidate for the vacant defensive coordinator position.

“I’m not going to comment on that position at this point in time,” Smith said. “It’s something that just came about. We’ll go through the due process of getting the best defensive coordinator for our football team.” 

Van Gorder joined Falcons coach Bobby Petrino’s staff as the linebacker’s coach in 2007.  After Petrino left, he accepted the defensive coordinator’s position at South Carolina.

Smith, who coached with VanGorder at Jacksonville, hired him to be the Falcons’ defensive coordinator.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family at this point in my career, both professionally and personally, to become the defensive coordinator at Auburn,” said VanGorder, who served as the defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2001 to 2004. “I’m looking forward to working at a school with the success and tradition of Auburn, and for a coach like Gene Chizik, who has led the program to a national championship. I’m very appreciative to the Atlanta Falcons and Coach Mike Smith for the experience of the last four years. It’s a great organization and will have continued success in the future.”

VanGorder’s defense finished the regular season second in the NFL in red zone defense, sixth in rushing defense (97.0 ypg), and 12th in total defense (333.6 ypg). But they struggled rushing the passer and playing the pass. In college at Georgia, he had a penchant for blitzing. But during his Falcons tenure, his unit played mostly zone coverage.

“I’m very excited to have a coach like Brian VanGorder join our staff at Auburn,” said Auburn coach Gene Chizik. ”From the beginning of this process, I had one person in mind, and that was Brian. He has achieved success at every level, both professionally and collegiately, which is a testament to his ability as a coach. He has been one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL, has won a Broyles Award at the college level, and understands what it takes to succeed in the Southeastern Conference. We’re pleased to welcome Brian and his family to Auburn.”

VANGORDER’S COACHING BACKGROUND

2008-11 Defensive Coordinator // Falcons

2007 Linebackers // Falcons

2006 Head Coach // Georgia Southern

2005 Linebackers// Jaguars

2001-04 Def. Coor./Linebackers // Georgia

2000 Def. Coor./Linebackers // W. Illinois

1998-99 Def. Coordinator // C. Michigan

1997 Asst. H. Coach/Def. Coor. // C. Florida

1995-96 Linebackers/Sp. Tm. Coor. // C. Florida

1992-94 Head Coach // Wayne State

1989-91 Def. Coor./Linebackers // Gr. Valley St.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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563 comments Add your comment

rob

January 9th, 2012
3:09 pm

good bye soft zone coverage…

GMal

January 9th, 2012
3:10 pm

1st!!!!!!! I think it’s a good move, time for some change.

retired

January 9th, 2012
3:10 pm

first a start.. now next

brian

January 9th, 2012
3:10 pm

See ya douche

ATLien73

January 9th, 2012
3:11 pm

Next up – MIKE MULARKEY!!!

Disappointed Falcon Fan

January 9th, 2012
3:11 pm

about time…jump on Spagnuolo..

cwltank

January 9th, 2012
3:12 pm

Wait Brian let me get that door for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

d_costa

January 9th, 2012
3:12 pm

SirReal

January 9th, 2012
3:12 pm

Nana-nana, nana-nana- HEY HEY HEY -GOOD bye!!!!! :) :) :)

Rod "straight outta augusta"

January 9th, 2012
3:13 pm

I don’t even think this deserves a story. Dueces BVG! C’mon Dimitroff, lets stop messing around and dump Mularkey! Heck, I will personally buy his GreyHound pass to Jacksonville.

P.S. – And no we dont want an internal canidate to take the job!!! Spend some dang money!!!

Dirty Bird Nation

January 9th, 2012
3:13 pm

One down(BVG) the overwhelm defensive co-ordinator is gone , now it is time for MM to be fired or released from his duties as offensive co-ordinator. With the poor showing of the falcons offense yesterday against the giants, MM stock is at a all time LOW and those teams that were interested will no longer be looking @ MM. Matt Ryan stock has dropped tremendously under MM. It will be amazing if any NFL after Sunday showing by this offense that would want MM as their HEAD COACH. Try selling that to those fans @Jacksonville or Miami!

SirReal

January 9th, 2012
3:14 pm

I’d get on the phone with Spags IMMEDIATELY

KeepDreaming

January 9th, 2012
3:15 pm

This is not good for the Dawgs, as BVG is a very capable DC at the collegiate level…

Bright Idea

January 9th, 2012
3:15 pm

BVG a true rolling stone but except for LBer the Falcon defensive talent was not there.

DanJ

January 9th, 2012
3:15 pm

That’s all we need here in Auburn AL another reject! First Ted Roof now BVG? Please………

Sid

January 9th, 2012
3:16 pm

Something tells me the team was already aware of this before yesterdays game……how did he get permission to interview.

panic fan

January 9th, 2012
3:16 pm

ok then war damn eagle DONT STOP THERE WE STILL GOT A FEW MORE GOOD MEN

done

January 9th, 2012
3:16 pm

From one sinking ship to another

ken herock

January 9th, 2012
3:16 pm

It’s still Mike Smith’s defensive philosophy. He’s not going to hire anyone who doesn’t mesh with his soft zone, rarely blitz schemes.

Thoughtful

January 9th, 2012
3:16 pm

THANK GOD!!!!!!!! Today is a great day! Now go hire Steve Spagnoulu IMMEDIATELY!!!!!

DREWSTER

January 9th, 2012
3:16 pm

The sec just got weaker!!!!

F-105 Thunderchief

January 9th, 2012
3:16 pm

Rid goodance.

Shoz

January 9th, 2012
3:17 pm

Good. Take that stupid 70s porn-star mustache and go F someone else’s defense up…

Section 322 Row 7

January 9th, 2012
3:17 pm

Why does Mike Smith continue to get a pass. The OC and the DC work under the HEAD COACH!!!!!! FIRE HIM TOO! Sick of the excuses…..oh wait the mailman is here with my season ticket renewal invoice.

PMC

January 9th, 2012
3:17 pm

He’s going to be absolutely awesome at Auburn. I wish BVG the best.

Tdawg

January 9th, 2012
3:17 pm

Im off to get my anus bleached….

SirReal

January 9th, 2012
3:17 pm

…hopefully Mularkey is next. After NO points yesterday there is NO way he can come back as OC. If he does, then we know he has some pictures of Blank that he doesnt want made public.

ignition

January 9th, 2012
3:18 pm

Spags or Morris ?????
Morris young energetic…
Spags proven accomplished…

done

January 9th, 2012
3:18 pm

Don’t give him the credit of resigning. He was going to be fired.

LawDawg

January 9th, 2012
3:18 pm

This should definitely be a boon to Auburn. As a Dawgs and Bucs fan, I am doubly sad to see this happen.

Rcky_Mtn_Falcon

January 9th, 2012
3:18 pm

The greatest defensive adjustment Brian Van Gorder ever made as the defensive coordinator of the Atlanta Falcons was removing himself as the coordinator.

Tyler

January 9th, 2012
3:19 pm

As an Auburn fan I’m happy he’s coming. As a Falcons fan I’m even happier he’s leaving. Win / win. @ sirreal; DFF: Agreed. Spags would be a great hire.

Cam Newton

January 9th, 2012
3:19 pm

Roll Damn Tide!

JRHD

January 9th, 2012
3:19 pm

I just can’t get upset about this. I hated it when he left UGA, but he hasn’t shown me much in the NFL. Let’s see what he does against UofA, LSU, TAM, Ark and UGA every year.

hand solo

January 9th, 2012
3:20 pm

fire them all

HadEnough

January 9th, 2012
3:20 pm

MULARKEY MUST GO!! I will not renew my season tickets unless he is released of his duties!

kay jay cee

January 9th, 2012
3:21 pm

Hello Jack Del Rio!

buy buy

January 9th, 2012
3:21 pm

There is a football god here in Atlanta. Now Mularky needs to follow right on BVG’s heels……….

Tell It Like It Is

January 9th, 2012
3:21 pm

This is very good news. When is Mularkey leaving? After the debacle of Sunday, it cannot be too soon.

Not good

January 9th, 2012
3:21 pm

Brian did an okay job. He figured out too late that C Owens cannot play the slot. Otherwise our Defense was pretty good.

UGAKev

January 9th, 2012
3:21 pm

Some of you forget that although Van Gorder was not a great defensive coordinator in the NFL, he was a great DC in college. He was the big reason why Georgia was so good in the early years under coach Richt. Auburn could be getting alot better with Van Gorder so it’s a bitter sweet feeling as a Georgia and Falcons fan. I am glad he is leaving the Falcons but I wish he would of went somewhere else because Auburns defense will improve alot.

REF

January 9th, 2012
3:21 pm

Now Mularkey, get Mike Nolan or Spags for DC!

Jim

January 9th, 2012
3:22 pm

He may last 1 full season. Don’t forget…he took the Def Coord spot @ SoCaro with Spurrier but then bailed before he unpacked his bags.

hand solo

January 9th, 2012
3:22 pm

start with thomas jackmeofffff and go all the way down and fire them all…….ive been a season tix holder for the last four yrs and the falcons are raising my tix a 100 dollars? to hell with em

5150 UOAD

January 9th, 2012
3:22 pm

What do the Dawgs think? You thought he was great with Richt now you guys will have to face him.

Boom-Boom

January 9th, 2012
3:22 pm

It will be a good thing for him and the Falcons. I’m sure there will be more assistants going in other directions after this crapy playoff performance. But Auburn? Wow!

Cal

January 9th, 2012
3:22 pm

Have a nice day Mr. Zone………….let’s go get Spagnuolo NOW!!

rollo lawson

January 9th, 2012
3:23 pm

Mike Mularkey, I pass by the airport on my way home from work. Let me know if you need to be dropped off.

War Eagle

January 9th, 2012
3:23 pm

Welcome to Auburn, BVG. But you have to shave that pornstache before we let you in town.

The Big Fat Blogger

January 9th, 2012
3:23 pm

Mularkey…. Time for you to bring us some great news as well……