Tommy Tuberville began his head coaching career in the SEC with the Ole Miss Rebels in 1995, but he is best known for his 10 seasons at the helm of the Auburn Tigers football program from 1999-2008. Tuberville took over an Ole Miss program buried by NCAA sanctions and revived it during his four years in Oxford. Tuberville posted three winning seasons at Ole Miss, never winning fewer than five games in any season.
He earned his nickname “the Riverboat Gambler” for his aggressive play-calling while coaching the Rebels. He had his best year at Ole Miss in 1997 when the team went 8-4, winning the Motor City Bowl and finishing the season ranked 22nd in the final Associated Press poll. Following a 6-5 season in 1998, Tuberville vowed he’d never leave Oxford, then promptly departed for Auburn two days later. Tuberville was 85-40 in 10 seasons at Auburn, including a perfect 13-0 season and an SEC championship in 2004. His team finished the ’04 season ranked second in the final polls despite missing out on a chance to compete in the national championship game.
Tuberville won at least nine games five other times at Auburn and finished first in the SEC West division four other times. He was 5-3 in eight bowl games as coach of the Tigers, but was let go as head coach after a 5-7 season in 2008, his first losing season since his first year at Auburn in 1999.
Tuberville was a two-time SEC coach of the year in 1997 and 2004, and in ’04 was named AFCA Coach of the Year and Walter Camp Coach of the Year.