Auburn football coach Bryan Harsin tested positive for COVID-19, the school announced in a statement on Friday. Harsin is asymptomatic.
"Yesterday I tested positive for the COVID-19 virus," Harsin said in the statement. "I am isolating at home while experiencing no symptoms.
"I will continue to participate remotely in meetings and practice. Just like in a game, teams that handle adversity and make necessary adjustments are those that are the most successful. I have full confidence in our coaching staff and team."
Tigers assistant head coach and linebackers coach Jeff Schmedding will handle the in-person coaching duties ahead of the program's season opener. According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Auburn was slated to have a scrimmage Friday evening.
During SEC media days in July, Harsin declined to speak whether or not he had been vaccinated. However, he spoke highly of the vaccine.
"There's so much information out there," Harsin said during media days. "What we can do is educate our players on the vaccination, what that means, what the SEC is requiring as far as the numbers and those things.
"Like I said before, this is a personal decision. I'm not going to make a comment on my situation because I wouldn't expect our players to be asked that or our staff to be asked that, and that's something we started a long time ago."
During the league's media days, Harsin said the program's vaccination rate was nearly 60%. On Aug. 5, two weeks after media days, Harsin told AL.com the team's rate had improved but could not provide a distinct percentage.
“We’ve improved in our area with this team, with the vaccinations and where we are right now,” Harsin told AL.com. “The education continues, and I said that before. That hasn’t changed. So, right now the goal is we get started and we’re going to be prepared for Sept. 4 and that we play and that we have a great experience, and that the guys that are here and the people that are part of this program have the chance to go out there and experience all the things that Auburn football provides: the Tiger Walk, the gameday environment, rolling the trees—all those things that come along with it. I fully expect it. I’m excited to be a part of it, and our team does as well.”
Harsin could potentially still coach in the Tigers' season opener. According to CDC guidelines, a person can end quarantine after day 10 as long as the infection remains asymptomatic.
Auburn opens the season against Akron on Sept. 4, two weeks from Saturday.
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