AUBURN, Ala. – Jeff Schmedding has been named inside linebackers coach and defensive run game coordinator at Auburn, head coach Bryan Harsin announced Saturday. Schmedding spent the past two seasons on Harsin’s staff at Boise State as the defensive coordinator (play caller) for the Broncos.
“When you look at the defenses Coach Schmedding coordinated in Boise, they were championship caliber, so I know the work ethic and preparation he brings every single day,” Harsin said. “He is a veteran presence on this staff that makes others around him better. The versatility he brings with the linebackers and connecting the attacking middle of our Auburn defense will complement the vision of Coach Mason as a whole.”
After coaching Boise State’s outside linebackers in 2019, he took over inside linebackers for the 2020 campaign. Schmedding’s first season leading the defense was a strong one for the Broncos as they claimed the Mountain West championship with a 12-2 record and 8-0 mark in conference play. The Boise defense put together an impressive year, finishing in the top 15 nationally in team sacks (37) and in the top 25 nationally in scoring defense (20.6 ppg).
In 2019, Junior STUD end Curtis Weaver was named the 2019 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year while leading the conference and finishing fifth nationally in sacks (13.5). His 34-career sacks are a Mountain West record as well. Weaver was selected in the fifth round of the NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins. Junior defensive back Kekaula Kaniho was also named to the All-Mountain West First Team. Kaniho was been named to the 2020 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List heading into the fall. Additionally, the Broncos had five other defensive players named to the 2019 Mountain West Second Team.
“I want to thank Coach Harsin for the opportunity to be a part of his staff at Auburn,” Schmedding said. “My family and I are very humbled and honored to be a part of such a great university like Auburn. I’m excited to get to work and make the Auburn family proud.”
Prior to arriving in Boise, Schmedding spent the 15 seasons (2004-18) at Eastern Washington, helping to lead the Eagles to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) National Championship in 2010. EWU also made the national title game in 2018 – one of 10 total FCS Playoff appearances during Schmedding’s time with the program. In 2018, the Eagles’ defense was first in the FCS in defensive touchdowns scored and second in forced turnovers.
Schmedding served as EWU’s defensive coordinator from 2015-18, while also coaching safeties and rovers. He spent seven seasons (2008-14) as the Eagles’ special teams coordinator, coaching linebackers (2008-09), safeties and nickels (2010-14) during that time. He began his career at EWU as a graduate assistant (2004-06) where he spent time with linebackers and the secondary before being promoted to a full-time role as safeties coach in 2007.
Schmedding’s previous coordination of special teams was particularly impressive as well, especially in 2014. The Eagles ranked third in the FCS with four blocked punts, and was 10th in net punting (38.4), 15th in kickoff return average (22.8) and 28th in punt returns (11.8). That season, EWU scored touchdowns on a kickoff return, punt return and kickoff team.
As a position coach, Schmedding tutored several of the finest safeties in EWU history. Tevin McDonald earned All-America and first-team All-Big Sky Conference accolades in 2014 for the Eagles before signing a free agent NFL contract with the Oakland Raiders. In 2013, McDonald earned third-team All-Big Sky honors as well. Schmedding’s safeties in 2012 featured Academic All-American Jeff Minnerly, Freshman All-American Jordan Tonani and second-team All-Big Sky selection Allen Brown.
In 2010 and 2011, Schmedding coached All-America safety Matt Johnson, who earned first-team All-Big Sky Conference honors both seasons before being selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Minnerly was honorable mention All-Big Sky both seasons. Schmedding also coached cornerbacks in 2011, a group which included eventual three-time first-team All-Big Sky selection T.J. Lee III. In 2010, EWU led the FCS with 26 interceptions.
Schmedding coached linebackers in 2008 and 2009, including J.C. Scherritt, who in 2009 was named to all six All-America teams and was second in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award given to the top defensive player in the FCS. He set school and Big Sky records with 170 total tackles. He went on to win the award in 2010 and was a captain and Grey Cup champion for the Edmonton Eskimos.
Schmedding earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education and coaching from Eastern Washington in 2002. A native of Spokane, Wash., he graduated from University High School where he was a standout wrestler and football player – he was the runner-up at the State 3A Wrestling Championships in the 215-pound division. Schmedding and his wife, Kristine, have been married for nearly 15 years and have two sons, Jack and Blake.