Auburn interim head coach Carnell Williams, center, celebrates with team after a win over Western Kentucky during the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Former Florida Gator National Champion Ike Hilliard Back Coaching in SEC with Auburn

After an incredible college career for former Florida Gator Ike Hilliard, the wide receiver is now coaching in the SEC at Auburn. He is in his first year as the wide receiving coach and has helped the Tigers win five games this year after being hired in February. 

Playing and Coaching Career

During his college career at the University of Florida, he recorded 126 catches for 2,214 yards and 26 touchdowns. He was also a member of the first National Championship team. He shined in the Sugar Bowl, with seven catches for 150 yards and three touchdowns.

He was then drafted No. 7 overall in the 1997 NFL draft and spent 12 seasons in the NFL playing for the New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He had over 6,300 yards and scored 35 touchdowns, playing in the Super Bowl in 2000. During his time on the field, Hilliard said he realized he wanted to get into coaching after learning from Sean Payton as a player.

Hilliard began his coaching career with the Florida Tuskers. He then coached in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Despite head coach Bryan Harsin’s firing, Hilliard succeeded with his wide receivers and has built a relationship with the interim coach Cadillac Williams.

Auburn 2022 Season

The Tigers’ top receiver this year is Ja’Varrius Johnson. He had 25 catches for 473 yards and two touchdowns. Kay Moore has added 19 catches for 297 yards and a score, while Shedrick Jackson and Camden Brown both have over 100 yards and combined for two touchdowns. 

Auburn’s next game will be against Alabama on Saturday, Nov. 26, in the Iron Bowl. The Tigers are 5-6 this year but have only two wins in SEC play. They are not yet qualified for a post-season game appearance, but a win over Bama will secure their extended season. This will be Hilliard’s first chance to coach in this historic rivalry game. 

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