Auburn's Ellis Johnson fired

Multiple sources indicate Ellis Johnson has been terminated. (Source: WAFF)
Multiple sources indicate Ellis Johnson has been terminated. (Source: WAFF)

AUBURN, AL (WAFF) - Auburn defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson is on the way out, sister station WSFA confirmed Sunday.

A pair of reports from FootballScoop and Auburn Undercover made earlier in the day indicated coach Gus Malzahn gave the termination notice to Johnson Sunday.

Saturday, Auburn lost to Alabama 55-44, finishing 8-4 after a strong start to the season.

Auburn's defense allowed 30 points or more in the final six SEC games of the season, the worst stretch in school history. The Tigers allowed an average of 39 points during that time. This will be Auburn's fourth defensive coordinator in the last five years.

Auburn released an official statement Sunday:

Ellis Johnson has been dismissed as defensive coordinator at Auburn, announced head coach Gus Malzahn Sunday. Johnson had served as the Tigers defensive coordinator since 2013.

“At this time I felt it was best for our program to make a change with our defensive coordinator,” Malzahn said. “Ellis is a true professional and I would like to thank him for his contributions at Auburn.”

A 30-plus year coaching veteran, Johnson has spent nearly 20 years coaching in the Southeastern Conference.

“This is part of the business and I totally understand,” Johnson said. “I did think we were good in several areas, but overall it wasn't good enough. I'm disappointed for our players, but this is a results business. I want to thank Coach Malzahn and Auburn for the opportunity the last two years.”

FootballScoop speculates that a strong contender to fill the spot could turn out to be Bill Clark, if it comes to pass that UAB intends to shut down its football program.

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