Rocker departs Carolina for another SEC school

Tracy Rocker
Tracy Rocker(South Carolina Athletics)
Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 4:26 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. ( - JC Shurburtt of has confirmed South Carolina defensive line coach Tracy Rocker has departed the program to coach at Auburn, his alma mater.

Rocker joins offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo and offensive line coach Will Friend in leaving the Gamecocks and first-year head coach Shane Beamer for the Tigers and first-year Bryan Harsin over the last week.

Rocker spent just one season with the Gamecocks, hired by Will Muschamp to coach the defensive line in 2020. On Jan. 4, the South Carolina board of trustees approved a two-year contract for Rocker with an annual salary of $525,000. He is responsible for paying the school $100,000 in buyout money.

Below is the rest of Rocker’s coaching resume, courtesy of

The well-traveled Rocker spent two seasons (2018-19) at Tennessee, his fifth different stop in the SEC before arriving at South Carolina for the 2020 season. He has also logged Division I stints at Georgia (2014-16), Auburn (2009-10), Ole Miss (2008), Arkansas (2003-07), Cincinnati (2002), and Troy State (1997-01). In addition, he spent three seasons with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans (2011-13). He mentored the defensive line in each of those stops, but was also given the additional title of Associate Head Coach while at Georgia in 2015.

Rocker has coached on four conference championship squads – 1999 and 2000 Southland at Troy; 2002 Conference USA at Cincinnati; and 2010 SEC at Auburn. That 2010 Auburn squad went on to win the 2011 BCS National Championship Game over Oregon.

Rocker has coached six All-Americans - Nick Fairley (Auburn), Peria Jerry (Ole Miss), Tim Betts (Troy), Eric Sloan (Troy), Al Lucas (Troy) and Marcus Spriggs (Troy), along with 15 NFL draft picks, including five first rounders – DeMarcus Ware, Jamaal Anderson, Peria Jerry, Nick Fairley and Dee Ford – as well as future pros Greg Hardy, Trent Cole and Osi Umenyiora.

A native of Atlanta, Rocker is considered one of the state of Georgia’s greatest college football players of all time. He was a two-time all-state selection at Fulton High School and was named the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in high school.

A two-time All-American while playing at Auburn from 1985-88, Rocker won the 1988 Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award. He was the first SEC player to earn both awards. He was named SEC Player of the Year following his senior season in 1988. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.

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