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Zac Etheridge

Zac  Etheridge

Hometown:
Troy, Ala.

Position:
Assistant Coach / Outside Linebackers

Alma Mater:
Auburn

Graduated:
2009


02/10/2017

Mark Speir Completes Coaching Staff with Promotion of Zac Etheridge

Former Auburn Tiger in second season at WCU; to coach outside linebackers

Zac Etheridge joined the Western Carolina football coaching staff in March, 2016, working in the defensive secondary coaching the cornerbacks. A former team captain as a defensive back at Auburn on its 2010 national championship team, Etheridge joined the WCU staff after two seasons at Georgia Tech.

In February of 2017, Etheridge was elevated to a full-time position as an assistant coach with his focus switching to WCU's outside linebackers as the Catamounts transitioned to a new 3-4 alignment.

Etheridge joined the Georgia Tech coaching staff as a defensive graduate assistant in 2013, working closely with assistant coach Joe Speed and the Yellow Jacket secondary.

Prior to making the move to Atlanta, Etheridge spent one year as a graduate assistant coach at Penn State under head coach Bill O'Brien and defensive coordinator Ted Roof -- who also spent a season as WCU's defensive coordinator in 1997. Roof, who Etheridge mentored under at Georgia Tech, was also his defensive coordinator during his final two years of his playing career at Auburn.

A 2009 Auburn graduate with a degree in political science, Etheridge was a four-year starter who broke his neck in the first quarter of a 2009 game against Ole Miss. Nine months later, after extensive rehabilitation, Etheridge returned to the starting lineup for Auburn and captained his team along a memorable run to the national title at the end of the 2010 season, finishing second on the team with 69 tackles, intercepting three passes, and returning a fumble 47 yards for a touchdown against Arkansas.

Etheridge garnered freshman All-America status from numerous publications following the 2007 season, starting 12 of Auburn's 13 games. He led Auburn with 75 tackles in 2008 and was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in 2009.

A native of Troy, Ala., Etheridge received the second-annual James Owens Courage Award from Auburn in 2013. The award, named for the school's first African-American football player, was established to honor a player who has shown courage in the face of adversity.

Etheridge briefly played for the Oakland Raiders, signing as a free agent in July, 2011. However, he was released after a knee injury.

Etheridge is engaged to Ms. Cassandra Hulik, and the two have a daughter, Mia.

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