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Auburn’s Chizik retains linebackers coach

New Auburn coach Gene Chizik will keep defensive assistant James Willis on his staff.

Chizik also announced Friday that he will retain several key support staff members.

Willis has been at his alma mater as linebackers coach since 2006 and has helped coach two defenses ranked in the Top 10 nationally in points allowed.

Chizik described Willis as “a tremendous coach and an outstanding recruiter.” The two worked together when Willis was a student assistant and graduate assistant and Chizik was the Tigers’ defensive coordinator.

Chizik is also keeping strength and conditioning coach Kevin Yoxall, director of football operations Jimmy Perry, director of NFL relations Phillip Lolley and team chaplain Rev. Chette Williams.