Football: Napier Rounds Out Staff With Etheridge Hire
Jeff Schneider, Assistant Director of Athletics Communications
LAFAYETTE, La. – Louisiana football head coach Billy Napier wrapped up his coaching staff for the 2018 season on Monday as he announced the hire of Zac Etheridge as the cornerbacks coach.
A former team captain and defensive back at Auburn on its 2010 national championship team, Etheridge comes to the Ragin' Cajuns from Western Carolina where he spent two seasons. Etheridge started his stint with the Catamounts coaching the cornerbacks in 2016 before being elevated to a full-time position as an assistant coach with his focus switching to WCU's outside linebackers in 2017.
Prior to Western Carolina, Etheridge spent two seasons at Georgia Tech as a defensive graduate assistant, working closely with Yellow Jacket secondary.
Before his 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.
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. He has daughter named Mia.
Etheridge's hiring is pending approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors.
ETHERIDGE AT A GLANCE Alma Mater: Auburn, 2009 Hometown: Troy, Ala. Children: Mia
COACHING EXPERIENCE 2017, Western Carolina Assistant Coach (Outside Linebackers) 2016, Western Carolina Assistant Coach (Cornerbacks) 2013-14, Georgia Tech Graduate Assistant 2012, Penn State Graduate Assistant