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Grimes: Auburn 'a very special place'

AUBURN - Offensive Jeff Grimes took a long look at Texas, but his heart was at Auburn.

Offensive line coach Jeff Grimes

Grimes, who spent all day Thursday on the Texas campus, returned home to ponder a lucrative offer from Texas coach Mack Brown. But Sunday, he said he would stay for a third season at Auburn.

Though he and his wife are Texas natives, Grimes said their attachment to Auburn is strong. In his second season, Grimes helped the Tigers win the BCS national championship with a 22-19 win over Oregon last Monday night.

“The University of Texas has a great football program and I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mack Brown,” Grimes said. “As a Texas native, the position was very enticing. However, I have decided to remain at Auburn. My family and I love being a part of the Auburn family, the Auburn community and this football program."

Grimes joined Gene Chizik's first Auburn staff from Colorado in early 2009.

"It is a very special place to us," Grimes said, "and I’m excited to help Coach Chizik continue to build upon the success that we’ve already achieved in our first two seasons.”

Under Grimes' tutelage, Auburn’s offensive line had three All-SEC picks in 2010, including tackle Lee Ziemba, who was a first-team All-American and the Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner as the SEC’s top blocker. A Dallas native, Grimes’ line was instrumental in Auburn setting the single-season school record for points and total offense for the second consecutive year.

Chizik said he welcomed Grimes' decision.

“Jeff is a tremendous coach and has played an important role in our record-setting offenses the last two seasons,” Chizik said. “He is a very good teacher and role model for our young men, and Auburn is a very special place to Jeff and his family.

"We’re pleased to move forward with a coaching staff that will remain intact for a third straight year. Our staff retention was a huge factor in our national championship run and will be important as we prepare for 2011 season.”

Auburn’s offensive line was third in the SEC in fewest sacks allowed per game in 2010, while the offense ranked in the top 10 nationally in rushing offense, scoring offense and total offense.

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