Auburn is nearing an agreement to hire Mississippi State’s John Cohen as its next athletic director, according to reports | Jobi Cool


Syndication: The Clarion-Ledger
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Auburn is finalizing a deal to hire Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen to the same position, according to multiple reports. Cohen, who began his tenure as Mississippi State AD in 2016, would succeed Allen Greene, who retired from work on Aug. 31 just before the start of a whirlwind football season for the Tigers.

With Auburn at 3-5 (1-4 SEC) under second-year coach Bryan Harsin after Saturday’s 41-27 home loss to Arkansas, Cohen would step into the job as turmoil surrounds the Tigers’ football program. But as a veteran of the SEC and multiple high-profile coaching searches, it should be a familiar environment for Cohen.

Cohen would be the latest athletic director to jump between SEC West schools. In 2019, LSU athletic director Scott Woodward left Texas A&M for LSU before Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork replaced Woodward at A&M.

After Dan Mullen left for Florida in late 2017, Cohen named then-Penn State offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead as the Bulldogs’ new coach. Moorhead was fired after just two seasons and was replaced by Washington State coach Mike Leach. Leach is (16-16, 9-14 SEC) in his third season with the Bulldogs.

Cohen also hired Chris Jans, the first-year Mississippi State basketball coach from New Mexico State. In 2019, he hired baseball coach Chris Lemonis, who led the Bulldogs to a national championship in 2021.

Although his history as a player, coach and administrator at Mississippi State is somewhat surprising to the cross country league, Cohen is originally from Alabama and began his baseball career at Birmingham-Southern University. After one year, he played baseball at Mississippi State for legendary coach Ron Polk, entering coaching shortly after his college playing career ended.

Cohen coached at Kentucky for five seasons before taking over at Mississippi State in 2009 after Polk retired. He coached the Bulldogs until 2016 before transitioning to the athletic director role.



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