- position Defensive Line Coach
- position Defensive Line Coach
Veteran defensive line coach Tracy Rocker comes to Columbia after finding success at every stop during his 20-plus year collegiate and professional coaching career. He officially was named as the defensive line coach on head coach Will Muschamp’s staff on Feb. 14, 2020.
The well-traveled Rocker spent the past two seasons (2018-19) at Tennessee, his fifth different stop in the SEC. He has also logged Division I stints at Georgia (2014-16), Auburn (2009-10), Ole Miss (2008), Arkansas (2003-07), Cincinnati (2002), and Troy State (1997-01). In addition, he spent three seasons with the NFL’s Tennessee Titans (2011-13). He mentored the defensive line in each of those stops, but was also given the additional title of Associate Head Coach while at Georgia in 2015.
Rocker has coached on four conference championship squads – 1999 and 2000 Southland at Troy; 2002 Conference USA at Cincinnati; and 2010 SEC at Auburn. That 2010 Auburn squad went on to win the 2011 BCS National Championship Game over Oregon.
In addition, Rocker spent two summers working with NFL teams (Indianapolis, 2001; Tampa Bay, 2006) as a part of the NFL’s Minority Internship Program.
Rocker has coached six All-Americans – Nick Fairley (Auburn), Peria Jerry (Ole Miss), Tim Betts (Troy), Eric Sloan (Troy), Al Lucas (Troy) and Marcus Spriggs (Troy), along with 15 NFL draft picks, including five first rounders – DeMarcus Ware, Jamaal Anderson, Peria Jerry, Nick Fairley and Dee Ford – as well as future pros Greg Hardy, Trent Cole and Osi Umenyiora. Anderson was the premier pass rusher in the SEC in 2006 with 14 sacks for 100 yards and 20.5 tackles for loss for Arkansas. Fairley, a defensive tackle, won the Lombardi Award and was the AP Defensive Player of the Year at Auburn in 2010. He led the SEC with 21 tackles for loss and was second in the SEC with 10.5 sacks. In addition, Al Lucas captured the Buck Buchanan Award as the Division I-AA Top Defensive Player as a defensive tackle at Troy in 1999.
A native of Atlanta, Rocker is considered one of the state of Georgia’s greatest college football players of all time. He was a two-time all-state selection at Fulton High School and was named the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in high school.
A two-time All-American while playing at Auburn from 1985-88, Rocker won the 1988 Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award. He was the first SEC player to earn both awards. He was named SEC Player of the Year following his senior season in 1988. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2005 and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
Rocker was a third-round pick by Washington in the 1989 NFL Draft and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He played two seasons before suffering a knee injury which ended his playing career prematurely. He concluded his career by playing one year for the Orlando Thunder of the World Football League.
Rocker returned to Auburn to complete his undergraduate degree in 1992 and began his coaching career as the defensive coordinator at Auburn (Ala.) High School that same year. He broke into the college coaching ranks as the defensive line coach at West Alabama from 1994-96.
Born April 9, 1966, Rocker and his wife, Lalitha, have one son, Kumar, who was named the 2019 College World Series Most Outstanding Player after leading Vanderbilt baseball to the NCAA title, and tossed a 19-strikeout no-hitter in the NCAA Super Regionals.