‘Keep it pushing’: Auburn wants to maintain feeling of Cadillac Williams’ interim tenure

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — It’s been more than eight months since Carnell “Cadillac” Williams was named the interim head coach of Auburn’s football program.
Williams’ tenure in the head coach mantle lasted less than a month and saw him split four contests. And as short-lived as the moment may look on paper, Auburn’s players are hopeful it’s something that lives on for some time.
That was something Auburn’s player reps, particularly Kam Stutts and Luke Deal, expounded on at SEC Media Days last week. The duo not only noted the significance of having Williams in that role, but the crucialness of the program’s 13-10 win against Texas A&M in his second game.
“It was big, man,” Stutts said. “That was some of the best energy I've seen. Probably top-three games I've seen in Jordan-Hare energy-wise. It was huge. Like I said, that momentum will carry over and continue to carry over, and we're going to keep it pushing.”
After being named Auburn’s interim on Oct. 31, the same day as Bryan Harsin’s firing, Williams’ first game came five days later in a 39-33 overtime loss to Mississippi State in Starkville. The loss, which saw the Tigers erase an 18-point deficit, was the preface to a win against the Aggies that was the program’s second and final conference win of the season.
A reported sellout, Auburn held Texas A&M scoreless for the first three quarters en route to a win.
“To just arrive there at that Tiger Walk, to see that many screaming fans in orange and blue was something that I mentioned to a couple of you already earlier, I still get chills thinking about it,” Deal said. “It's something that you don't get very many places. It's why I love this place. It's why I'm so blessed and honored to represent Auburn today and hopefully every day.”
Deal continued, giving an answer that highlighted Stutts’: “People may not understand how pivotal that was for us. I would argue that this football program, this team, this university, this town has still built off of that moment, off of those games, off of that energy. That's what we're going to take into next season. That kind of energy, that kind of unity is something that you build on hopefully for years to come. So it's been huge.”
Of course, the program will try to carry on the Cadillac Feeling with him still around. Williams returned to his role of running backs coach after Freeze’s hiring on Nov. 28. His retainment actually happened before Freeze was officially announced as head coach, with a promotion to associate head coach as well.
Deal indicated, like many, that he saw the decision to keep Williams on Freeze’s staff as a no-brainer.
“People are going to be pretty upset if you get rid of Cadillac Williams, I know I would be,” Deal said. “Coach ’Lac, he's an incredible man, incredible ambassador for the school, has been for a long time. People with orange and blue in their blood, they want to see him around forever. That was definitely important for our success.”

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