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UPDATED: Auburn Fires Chizik; Jacobs/Chizik Release Statements; Buyout Totals Revealed

By on November 25th, 2012 in Football 38 Comments »

Auburn officials have confirmed that Gene Chizik has been fired. A 3:30 pm CT press conference is scheduled. Chizik notified his staff this morning and met with the players at 1 p.m. CT. Track’em Tigers has also learned that associate athletic director Tim Jackson is no longer part of the football operation.

In a statement, Chizik thanked the Auburn people, “I am very grateful for the opportunity that I had during the last four seasons to serve as the head football coach at Auburn University,” he said. “I’m extremely disappointed with the way this season turned out and I apologize to the Auburn family and our team for what they have had to endure.

“In my 27 years of coaching, I have gained an understanding of the high expectations in this profession. When expectations are not met, I understand changes must be made. I have said this many times, but the Auburn fans are the best in college football. They have an incredible passion and love for their school and I want to thank them for their support in good times and in bad times.”

Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs also put a statement. Here is an excerpt:

The results of the 2012 football season are simply unacceptable at Auburn. After suffering some tough losses in a transition year in 2011, we had hoped our team would show improvement this season. Unfortunately, it has not. The competition in our league is fierce and is currently at an all-time high, and we cannot risk falling further behind by waiting another year and hoping for improvement.

That is why after careful consideration and a thorough evaluation of our football program, I have recommended that Coach Gene Chizik not be retained. President Gogue has accepted my recommendation. Earlier this morning, I informed Coach Chizik that he will not return as head coach.

I am pleased to announce that we have put together an outstanding search committee to find our next head coach. The committee consists of several great Auburn leaders who share our commitment to competing at the highest level and who understand what it takes to succeed at Auburn. I am honored that Mac Crawford, Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan have agreed to join our efforts to find the best coach possible for our student-athletes, the students of Auburn University and the Auburn Family. I’m proud to be part of this distinguished group.

Auburn says the coaching change which includes payouts to Chizik and all his assistants will total $11.09 million. Six assistant coaches will be paid the remainder of their 2012-13 contracts in equal monthly installments until its conclusion on June 30, 2013. Three coaches – Brian VanGorder, Scot Loeffler and Trooper Taylor – have contracts that expire on June 30, 2014. They will be paid in equal installments over the next 18 months.

Chizik’s buyout will be paid in monthly installments through four fiscal years concluding in 2015-16. All buyout figures could decrease with future employment.

Chizik finishes his Auburn career with a 33-19 overall record and 15-17 in SEC play. He had only one winning SEC season during his four year tenure. He’ll be most remembered for orchestrating the 2010 national championship run that resulted in Auburn’s first title since 1957. On his watch, Auburn added its third Heisman Trophy winner in Cam Newton.

The school now turns its attention to finding a replacement for Chizik. Rumored candidates include: Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn, former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher and Louisville coach Charlie Strong.


  1. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    I appreciated how he lead us to an MNC, and will always remember gow he handled CamGate. Wish there were some answers for why we disintegrated so quickly.

    I wish Chizik and his family good luck. War Eagle.

    • Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

      …..We may never know. Typically, those buy-outs ensure that the departed don’t make waves. Terry did, and it took him a decade to get another job in coaching.

    • Jay Coulter Jay Coulter says:

      Agreed ToTM. I choose to remember him for 2010. I hope all Auburn fans feel this way. Change was needed, but he’s a good man and really loved Auburn. He’ll always be closely associated with the program because of 2010. He’ll rebound nicely.

    • challenger10 says:

      Agreed. Thanks Gene for 2010 and holding the team together thru the Cam situation. Unfortunately, based upon the last 2 years this change was necessary

    • audude audude says:

      Could not agree more TotMt. Now let’s move in the right direction.

  2. Derrick Roberts Derrick Roberts says:

    I am and forever will be grateful to Gene Chizik for 2010, but other than that I don’t have many fond memories of his time here. I can’t ever recall disagreeing more with the program’s overall direction than in his 3 seasons that weren’t perfect. He had a confusing way of doing things to say the very least.

    Now to the coaching search. If the admin. at Auburn want the fans to continue to be ‘ALL IN’ to the football program, they better go all out with the coaching search. Mediocrity will no longer be tolerated after tasting the crystal football success. I hope they get this right. It could swing the program in either direction drastically depending on who they bring in.

  3. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    …..I really need to calm down, and stop wearing my refresh button out. They aren’t going to hire a new head coach today, and Chizik will really never say anything of note in a presser.

    …..I can tell you I’m very relieved, though. This situation could not continue.

  4. Acid Reign Acid Reign says:

    ….There’s now a statement on the official Auburn site, from Jay Jacobs.

  5. Atmore Tiger Atmore Tiger says:

    Add Mike Grundy, Rich Rodriguez, and Tony Franklin to the list.

  6. rn4au rn4au says:

    I really liked Coach Chiz as a person. I don’t feel we ever had to worry about being embarrassed by a trip to a stripper bar with him. He was a real class guy, I only wish things had been different on the football field for him. I wish him and his family the best of luck. Regardless of anything, he will always be remembered as the coach that led us to the 2010 National Championship. Best Wishes to him and his family and War Eagle Forever!

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      My sentiments exactly RN.

      Thanks Gene for 2010. I will forever remember standing in Phoenix Stadium as the seconds ticked off the clock to give Auburn it’s second National Championship.

  7. Atmore Tiger Atmore Tiger says:

    Maybe we should hire Hugh Freeze away from Ole Miss… like old times.

  8. Randyc37 Randyc37 says:

    I am sure that Chizik signed an agreement to stay quiet on certain issues. There has to be a reason why Auburn fell so fast.

    I wish Chizik the best, but the Auburn fan base did not deserve to endure another season with no SEC wins and losses to UGA and Bama.

    I will keep the faith in the Auburn search committe and hope for the best.

  9. Todd92 Todd92 says:

    Thanks for your time here Coach Chizik. I hope the PTB can get it right this time.

  10. Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

    Chizik was incredibly classy in his released statement….of course a guaranteed $156,250/mo will do that.

  11. Malakai Malakai says:

    This so-called committee of ex-players helping to look for Auburn’s next HC is nothing more than Jay Jacobs covering his own ass. He wants to be able to point to other people and say, see I never agreed to him in the case he hires another loser like Chiz. It’s sad and I can’t believe noone has pointed out the politics of it yet.

  12. BastoneWarEagle says:

    Neil Callaway for OC job…. Can’t think if a better choice. We need his experience and his no bullsh** coaching approach to straighten out the players and get our offense back on the up and up. He spent 12 years at auburn with a winning record and he’s gotten even more experienced since he left. We need him back!!! Don’t reply until you know the facts…. Look up Auburns record when Callaway was coaching the offensive line. It speaks for itself. #winning #neilcallawayOC #wareagle

  13. CapnVegetto says:

    Malakai is right. Chizik is gone, but the root problem is still there…….JACOBS. Jay Gogue is a terrible president because he doesn’t have the stones to do what is right. Jacobs and Tim Jackson are the problems with the football program–Chizik was only a part of it.

    I do thank Gene Chizik for 2010. He did a great job managing distractions all that year, and that, I think, is why we won. He had nothing to do with the offense, and was limiting himself on defense, because he was too busy dealing with CamGate. It seemed that last 2 years, the more he got involved, the worse things got.

    It’s time for Chizik to go, but I am VERY worried about the program. Not because of the players, or the boosters, or the firing. I am deathly worried because Jay Jacobs is still the athletic director. He is responsible for essentially every single problem that Auburn has had it its athletic programs since his tenure. From David Marsh, to the decline of the basketball team, to the whole Chizik debacle, EVERYTHING has Jacobs’ fingerprints on it.

    Until Jacobs is gone, things will never get truly better.

    I truly hope this hire is a good one, but I am VERY worried. We’ll just have to see what transpires.

  14. aubb says:

    hate to say it but petrino is the only real candidate

  15. LSU Jonno says:

    Good luck guys.

    I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Kirby Smart, Charlie Strong, or James Franklin.

  16. jstrib jstrib says:

    Whats the odds of Jeff Fisher comin to the plains?

  17. mvhcpa says:

    The fact that Jay Jacobs isn’t joining the coaching staff on the rail out of town coated with tar and feathers has me puzzled and hopeless for the future.

    Michael Val
    (who wonders who EXACTLY are The Powers That Be these days now that a certain banker is broke)

  18. restless6 says:

    Jay Jacobs deserved the exit more than Gene.

    • hinkle.pilot hinkle.pilot says:

      Totally Agree !!! We should contact the office of the President with those sentiments exactly. However I think GC had to go either way. He loved the school and showed the class that you hope for from a coach, however performance matters in the profession he has chosen.

  19. DBAU81 says:

    It’s good that this decision, which was really the only one that could have been made, was made quickly. I had hoped that JJ would also have been shown the exit, but it appears that is not to be, at least for now. I do wonder how much the fact that the AD is himself under fire will affect the coaching search. How many of us would take a job without some degree of certainty who our boss was going to be? But, at least the first step has been made in the right direction.

    By the way, I know for a fact that Bill Cowher has been on campus. I saw him myself.

    Of course, it was while he was playing for NC State against us in 1977, but why let the facts get in the way of a good rumor? Let the speculating begin, and War Eagle!

  20. tigerpaw75 says:

    Did anyone read Kevin Scarbinsky’s article on the things that led to Chiz’s dismissal:

    A lot of disappointing things in that article, including a a breakdown in team commitment and discipline. Apparently certain players were being coddled, and allowed to skip workouts and class with no repercussions. Coach Yox’s authority to enforce mandatory workouts was undermined.

    He even suggests that Chiz’s ego took a hit when Cam, Gus, and Nick Fairley got more credit than he did for the 2010 championship…if any of this is even 50% true it explains a lot and I’m glad Chizik is gone.

    • wde1988 wde1988 says:

      Excellent article. And something I have wondered about ever since the event surrounding the four players after the NC occured.

      Chizik was directly responsible for the failure in discipline. The sad thing was because Chizik was as close hold on information it usually meant that us fans were completely in the dark.

      This is behind us now… Thank God!