Auburn is finalizing a deal Monday to make Mississippi State’s John Cohen its next athletic director, per ESPN sources.
As first reported Saturday, Cohen, who is currently in his seventh year as Mississippi State’s athletic director would replace Allen Greene, who negotiated a departure from Auburn in August as his contract was set to expire in the upcoming months.
With the hire, Auburn would make the rare move to hire from within the SEC.
Cohen, 56, has a lot of familiarity with the SEC in his career, spending time as an assistant coach at Florida (2002-030 and as the head baseball coach at Kentucky (2004-08). He took over at Mississippi State as the athletic director from Scott Stricklin, who left for Florida in 2016.
In July, Cohen signed a four-year extension — the maximum length allowed under Mississippi state law — and received a salary increase to $1.1 million from $950,000. His contract has a $250,000 buyout.
Cohen’s first major task will be to address the future of Bryan Harsin, the embattled Tigers football coach who is widely expected to be fired this year. Harsin’s job was put in flux in February amid a university inquiry that followed an exodus of players and assistant coaches.
Harsin has an overall losing record in his two seasons, entering Saturday’s game against Arkansas with a 9-11 record.
The final details are being worked out on a five-year contract for Cohen, and an announcement is expected later Monday.