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All Eyes on Jay Gogue

By on November 12th, 2012 in Football 37 Comments »

University president Jay Gogue is still something of a mystery man to Auburn people. Despite leading the institution for five years, little is known about the person poised to make one of the biggest decisions in Auburn football history.

Considered to be a hands-off leader in matters related to athletics, Gogue finds himself today increasingly under fire for refusing to take action on the status of athletic director Jay Jacobs and football coach Gene Chizik.

While Gogue continues to work behind the scenes, his early public moves have portrayed him as a leader who’s ill-equipped to manage a major college football program. His insistence to wait until season’s end to make personnel changes has earned him labels ranging from stubborn to stupid.

Those close to Gogue say these remarks are unfair.

He’s described as a thoughtful person, who’s adamant about giving his subordinates room to do their jobs. He’s a systems oriented guy who insists on sticking with the plan regardless of outside noise.

It’s a philosophy that’s served the Waycross, Georgia native well throughout his long academic career. A 1969 Auburn graduate, Gogue has been at the helm of three universities including, Utah State, New Mexico State and the University of Houston.

Is it just coincidence that two of the three have shown up on the Auburn football schedule in recent years?

Gogue’s public statement of support for the players, but not Gene Chizik last month drew intense criticism. The comments essentially placed Chizik on death row with execution still months away. It’s a message that clearly reached the players, with most throwing in the towel.

Last week, when news broke that Gogue had notified the board of trustees that he was moving forward with plans to replace Chizik and planned to talk with Louisville offensive coordinator Shawn Watson, Auburn message boards exploded.

Is Gogue really up to the task? Does he grasp the enormity of the job he’s about to undertake? Does he know anything about college football? These questions are asked almost hourly as the Chizik death watch continues.

Gogue’s lasting legacy will be the path he takes for the athletic department. It’s widely rumored that he plans to stick with current athletic director Jay Jacobs. If true, it’s a move that’ll almost certainly be met with universal disapproval and place his own job at risk.

Even more bewildering is his rumored plan to reassign associate athletic director for football operations, Tim Jackson to another area. How you can reassign or fire Jackson without doing the same for Jacobs is hard to understand.

Conventional thinking says that Auburn’s ability to draw a top notch coach will rest on whether Jacobs is shown the door. It was widely reported in 2008, that Will Muschamp refused to speak with Auburn unless Jacobs was out of the picture.

Many believe that will be the same message four years later from other top coaches.

It’s only fair to give Gogue the benefit of the doubt for now. Rumors are simply that – unsubstantiated claims that will become even more frequent in the coming days. He didn’t earn his place in life because he’s stupid.  And though reported, I don’t buy into the Watson rumor.

Nobody is that naive. Right?

Let’s be patient and watch the process play out. We may even be surprised. I’m giving Jay Gogue the benefit of the doubt for now. His early moves have been shaky, but there’s plenty of time to do the right thing.

Jay, we are all watching.


  1. audude audude says:

    The diffculty of containing the message in an environment such as SEC Football is nearly insurmountable. Dr. Gogue cannot even listen to someone make a wild suggestion, Shawn Watson, without it hitting the message boards and news columns. What I have seen is Dr. Gogue’s words being pasred like a Republican in Chicago.

    If he indeed hears the pain of the fans then lets see how good of a leader he really is in unifiying our ever fracturing fan base. Leaders have been far too few this year…

  2. Jonathon Jonathon says:

    I think we all need to consider Gene sticking around. Someone will get ‘the boot’ but with the rumor mill turning in full swing, a lot of the information is going to get twisted and seen out of context.
    IF the OC from L’ville is being considered, I’d be led to think that Loeffler is the one being replaced. Wallace is showing some ability now and we will need an OC in place that is trusted by the players and will develop this new talent.
    VanGorder STILL has a resume that is impressive. This is a team game and I think that some of the lackluster D effort stems from the Offense’s pitfalls. The defense can’t put up 30 points and win games for us. We have to have a functioning offense.

    Some of this may also stem from Chizik’s buyout. It’s a ton of money to ‘start all over’ as Gene is now putting it. If we have to start all over, there’s only so many areas we can take big hits and putting up tons of money for the ‘unkown’ may not be one of them.

    • freddy007 freddy007 says:


      Why would we ever entertain the idea of retaining Chizik! That’s just nuts! Has Chizik not done enough damage?

      • Jonathon Jonathon says:

        I’m just putting options ‘out there.’ I personally think Chizik and the staff need to be replaced, but at what cost? I’ve felt that a new AD in place should have the proper amount of time and resources to choose a new head coach. I think it is a lot to ask of a brand new AD to bring along an Auburn approved coach right out of the gate. Plus, if you give Chizik one more year, then you not only evaluate whether or not he Can turn things around with the right assistants, but you also lower his buyout.

        In a perfect world we would clean house from the AD on down. Bring in a new AD and a new Head Coach with his own hand-picked assistants.

  3. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    Can the Auburn fans put up with another year like this? I really think that Chizik is now in a state of denial. I am hearing on the airwaves this morning that contact has been made to prospects and a change is coming.

    Enjoy the week!

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Sure we can. But auburn can’t. I can always find something else to do with my money. I have many options in enjoying life with my family.

      But If i were a university president, well educated, and had actually attended auburn so i also had experienced it myself…. why would i allow auburn to get dismantled like this?


  4. mokey says:

    What a mistake it would be to postpone the inevitable by giving Chizik another year ! I don’t know the man personally and most likely never will but he comes across (to me) as being arrogant and extremely self-serving.
    My guess is Chizik regrets the coordinator hires, both of them. He and Van Gorder don’t see things the same way and Chiz was obviously upset by CBG’s comments about our lack of physicality, etc…as far as Loeffler is concerned that was just a case of who was left to take.
    If CTT has us in a jam in Memphis we’re cooked anyway…stay tuned !

  5. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Happy Veteran’s Day and a BIG Thank You to all who have served AND to the families who support our military.

    There’s a mess on the Plains. I hope Gogue has the stones to make difficult decisions that will result in lasting improvements. I’m prepared for this to get worse before they get better…….

    • War Eagle 2000 says:

      TOTM says…

      I’m prepared for this to get worse before they get better…….

      stealing a line from a great movie, but….

      Ellen: Clark, I think it’d be best if everyone went home… before things get worse.

      Clark: WORSE? How could things get any worse? Take a look around here, Ellen. We’re at the threshold of hell.

  6. au2219 says:

    Would be interested in folks’ feedback on this summation:

    The millions paid to head coaches in our conference “purchase” the following 4 services:

    1. recruiting
    2. player development
    3. game planning
    4. gameday management

    Within those multi-million dollar contracts, there are no provisions for “excuses”. Albeit a tough row to hoe for head coaches in the SEC, it is what it is. So….injuries, youth/depth chart, player suspensions/dismissals, bad breaks, and any other sorts of “mess-ups” that we could categorize, are supposed to all be taken care of with regard to the 4 services that are purchased when a head coach has been hired. (e.g., if a starter gets injured/suspended/dismissed, recruiting efforts & player development are “supposed to” cover that by simply being able to basically “play the next guy” on the depth chart)

    Is the current head coach (and his staff) satisfactorily providing those services? (By “satisfactorily”, I can only define that in terms of “winning”, which is, inevitably, what the head coach’s services are to render…bottom line.)

    This isn’t meant to be as much a loaded question as it is to see what others’ takes are.

    • Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

      Gameday Management – Fail
      Game Planning – Fail
      Player Development – Fail
      Recruiting – Nonexistant player development prevents any real analysis of recruiting success or failure.

  7. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    Let me know what yall think. We all know Petrino is un-hireable at AU, but what about Jim Tressel? He would bring instant big name credibility, along with a great head coach resume, and he would be able to finally recruit in the SEC region. Think he would be interested in the job?

    • Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

      Tressel would be a good choice. Perhaps Auburn has already made the call. Just get ready for the sweater vest and tie.

    • Mike jimithing78 says:

      Tressel is under an NCAA no-hire penalty until December 19, 2016.

      • 10tiger says:

        He can appeal after two years, which are concluding. The NCAA would be on shaky footing legally to deny him the ability to earn a living as a college coach as all college football is under the NCAA.

  8. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    Tressel is currently working at the University of Akron as the VP of Strategic Engagement for $200,000 a year. He is now 59 years old. Terry Bowden is now coaching the Akron football team.

  9. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    Until Jay Jacobs is tidying up his résumé and cleaning out his office I can not have faith that Jay Gogue or the BOT are going to do the right thing. Whether Chizik is still employed as Auburns HC next season or not the mechanism to make crucial decisions including who to hire or fire needs to be in place before the news of who the SEC Champion is decided. If Jay Jacobs is retained and allowed to hire or fire anyone it is a sham, if Jacobs is retained and is not the person hiring the next coach then he has naked pictures of the BOT partaking in an orgy that would make Caligula blush! Enough is enough, our Alma Matre deserves to be run in a proficient and professional manner independent of the back room cronyism that has made AU fall to repeated disgraces. AU deserves better, our fellow Alumni and fans deserve better, and the atheletes deserve better. The Atheletic Department should be run by those who can not be tampered with repeatedly from the Powers That Be!

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Suggest you and everyone else Dr. Gouge. Let him know what you think.

      If you need his address get it from the never to yield foundation.

      I did.

      Changing the conversation a tad… anyone watch Tubervilles latest exploits? I have a feeling there will be repercussions….


  10. plains74 says:

    Any truth to Jimbo Fisher being unhappy at Fla. State and would consider Auburn?

  11. War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

    I miss the days of CTT. Even in 08 our defense was VERY good, if he had only recruited well and had an OC stick for a few years then he would still be coaching at AU. The UGA game was the most stunning defeat I can remember, AU had NO FIGHT. UGA recruits the same guys AU recruits, and yet they win by blowouts the past two years. It’s flabbergasting, it makes one speechless at how gloriously terribly these AU tigers are. It really takes effort with this type of talent to play this poorly, my hats off to the coaching staff (or is it my head that is off?).

    I am officially submitting my name for the head coach position, since I would be a walk-on I would take just half Chiziks salary, but I would also expect a blue F-150 with a lifetime supply of toilet paper.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Funny… i just mentioned Tommy T. Personally am glad the man is gone. AU would be worst off. Don’t believe me? Google tubs and see if he will survive the latest exploits.


      • Todd92 Todd92 says:

        Tubbs will survive it…. He didn’t slap the dude, he ripped his headset off… Big difference. I don’t mind the anger outbursts and public ass chewing. It’s always been there its just now with multitude of cameras it looks worse. Tubbs will be fine.

        • War_Eagle_2010 War_Eagle_2010 says:

          Tubbs is the coaching equivalent to a hostess Twinkie, I’d put my money on him surviving a nuclear winter with just his Under Armor jacket and a bag of Golden Flake chips.

        • wde1988 wde1988 says:

          In a politically correct society like we have today… not to mention the precedence that has already occured at Texas Tech… and you think nothing happens? Ha, good luck with that. Trust me when I say… the media is already prodding.

          I guess you can always get Mike Leach as your defense attorney Tubby. He has an axe to grind with that University regardless.

          Public asschewing aside… that was a bit more.

          Entertaining none the less… I’d say to the tune of $5M dollars worth… got to get your enjoyment out of it eventually.


  12. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Highly controversial article on ausports. Pointed directly at the problem – jay jacobs and his deputy. Things are about to heat up on the plains. I look for this ordeal to culminate at the ironbowl when bama hangs 60 on this pathetic auburn team.

    I swear this is a jimmy sexton conspiracy to milk millions from auburn.


  13. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    I may go deer hunting for the game with Alabama like I did in 1972; however, that Auburn team had more heart and won.

    • Col.Angus Col.Angus says:

      You could give this bunch the ball at the Bama 10 yard line on every possesion and we would still lose by 4 touchdowns. I’ve never seen a group of kids lay down like this before. If they are trying to make a point, its more about themselves at this point. Its clear that the program has burned down around Chizik and the players are willing to fan the blaze.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Already there…


  14. sparkey sparkey says:

    It is pathetic that Gogue is gonna keep Jacobs. I hope he somehow screws up his retirement personally. He doesn’t give a damn about Auburn. Screw him too I say. I’m pissed.