Malzahn brings Arkansas State coordinator to Auburn

New Auburn coach Gus Malzahn now has his two coordinators in place after announcing the hiring Friday of Rhett Lashlee to handle the offense.

On Thursday, Malzahn named Ellis Johnson as his defensive coordinator.

Lashlee is accompanying Malzahn from Arkansas State, where both spent one season after Malzahn left Auburn to take a head-coaching job. Lashlee was the offensive coordinator at Samford in 2011.

"Rhett is one of the best young offensive minds in college football," Malzahn said. "I've been with Rhett a long time and he's been an incredibly valuable right-hand man. He has a great knowledge and understanding of Auburn and will be a tremendous asset for this program both on and off the field."

Lashlee, 29, was a graduate assistant at Auburn under Malzahn in 2009-2010. Malzahn also was Lashlee's high-school coach. A former quarterback, Lashlee also spent one year at Arkansas.

"I'm looking forward to working with coach Malzahn and help get this team headed in the right direction and return to winning football," Lashlee said. "Auburn holds a special place in my family's heart, as this is where our twin boys were born, so we are blessed to be back. I'm excited to get to work."