Rodney Garner leaving Georgia for Auburn

Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime Georgia assistant coach Rodney Garner is leaving Georgia to return to Auburn, his alma mater.

Longtime Georgia defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner is leaving the Bulldogs after 15 seasons and heading to his alma mater, Auburn, where he will hold the same positions under coach Gus Malzahn. Garner will also hold the title of assistant head coach. Auburn announced the news late Thursday night.

Garner, 46, had been the longest-serving assistant coach on Mark Richt's staff, joining the school in 1998 before Richt was even hired. Prior to coaching with the Bulldogs, Garner coached at Tennessee in 1996-97 and held several different jobs at Auburn from 1990-95. The Leeds, Ala., native played at Auburn from 1984-88 and was named All-SEC as an offensive lineman in 1988.

Richt declined to comment about the move on Thursday. The loss of Garner could have an effect on Georgia's 2013 recruiting class, and could also effect the decision of junior defensive tackle Kwame Geathers, who is considering jumping to the NFL.

It's unknown whether Garner will remain with the Bulldogs through the Capital One Bowl, or if he will join the Tigers' staff immediately. Potential candidates to replace Garner as recruiting coordinator on Georgia's staff include tight ends coach John Lilly and running backs coach Bryan McClendon.

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