Jan. 28, 2014
ATHENS, Ga. --- Former Tennessee Titans defensive line coach Tracy Rocker has been named defensive line coach at the University of Georgia according to an announcement Tuesday by UGA head coach Mark Richt.
Rocker is a former Auburn All-America defensive lineman, 1988 Outland and Lombardi Award winner, and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004.
Rocker coached three years with the Titans (2011, '12, '13). In 2012, the Titans ranked 10th in the NFL in sacks (39). Additionally DE Derrick Morgan turned in the best season of his career, registering 6.5 sacks, 19 quarterback pressures, five tackles for loss, five passes defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery. In 2013, the Titans finished 11th in the NFL in passing yards per game (225.8 - 6th in AFC) and 14th (out of 32) in yards per game (337.9 - 8th in AFC)
In his first season with the Titans, Rocker led a young group of players that saw two rookies emerge as playmakers on the interior. Rookie DT Karl Klug led all NFL rookie defensive tackles with seven sacks, a total that led the Titans and also ranked fourth among all NFL defensive tackles. Fellow rookie DT Jurrell Casey started 15 games and led all Titans defensive linemen in tackles with 74 and also tallied 2.5 sacks, nine quarterback pressures, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
A 17-year veteran of college coaching, Rocker spent time with five college programs and helped a number of players reach All-American honors. He joined the Titans after spending two seasons (2009-10) at Auburn as the defensive line coach. As a coach, he helped develop Nick Fairley into the Lombardi Award winner (given to the NCAA's best defensive lineman or linebacker) and an AP All-American as a part of Auburn's 2010 national title winning team. In 2009, he coached Antonio Coleman, who led the SEC in tackles for loss (16.5) and sacks (10.0) and was twice named SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week.
Before his two-year stint at Auburn, Rocker spent one year at Ole Miss (2008) and mentored Greg Hardy (8.5 sacks) and Peria Jerry. The Rebels finished the 14th in the final polls and ranked 19th nationally in total defense. The defense led the SEC and finished fourth in the country with 39 sacks.
Rocker worked five seasons (2003-07) at Arkansas and saw Jamaal Anderson earn a first-round selection in the 2007 NFL Draft after a 14-sack season as a senior. The 2005 Razorback unit ranked second in the SEC in sacks with 29 and was fourth in rushing defense.
Rocker spent one season with the University of Cincinnati in 2002 and helped them capture the Conference USA title. In 1997, he took over the defensive line at Troy, where he would spend five seasons. In his time working with the Trojans, DeMarcus Ware and Osi Umenyiora were under his coaching and Al Lucas earned the 1999 Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in I-AA. Rocker broke into the college coaching ranks at West Alabama from 1994-96 as the defensive line coach. He began his coaching career as the defensive coordinator at Auburn (Ala.) High School for one season.
As a player, Rocker was a two-time All American at Auburn and the 1988 Outland (best offensive or defensive lineman) and Lombardi Trophy winner. He was the first SEC player to earn both awards. He was named SEC Player of the Year following his senior season (1988). Rocker was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
He was a third-round pick by the Washington Redskins in the 1989 NFL Draft and played two seasons before suffering a knee injury. He concluded his career by playing one year for the Orlando Thunder of the World Football League. As a coach, Rocker spent two summers working with NFL teams (Indianapolis, 2001; Tampa Bay, 2006) as a part of the NFL's Minority Internship Program.
A native of Atlanta, Ga., Rocker and his wife Lalitha have a son, Kumar.