Gene Chizik out at Auburn; athletic director lays out plan

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday November 25, 2012

Posted by: Chris Vannini on November 25, 2012

Two years removed from a national championship, Gene Chizik has been dismissed as head coach at Auburn, the school announced Sunday.

"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," athletic director Jay Jacobs said in a statement.

"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."

Since the national championship season of 2010, the Tigers went 8-5 last season and 3-9 this year, including an 0-8 record in the SEC for the first time in school history. The 2012 season was expected to be a difficult one, but few foresaw this many struggles.

Jacobs says the search committee to find the next head coach has been put together, and former Auburn players Bo Jackson, Mac Crawford and Pat Sullivan are part of that committee.

"This season demonstrated that we need a different direction to get where we want to go," Jacobs said. "We will move as quickly as possible in our search for a new head coach, guided by the benchmarks President Gogue and I expect. Those benchmarks are a track record as a proven winner, a commitment to playing within the rules and student-athlete academic success."

A press conference is scheduled later today for a formal announcement. Earlier this month, we listed some reasons why Chizik might be retained. Those same reasons will be factors in who is interested in the Auburn job, now that Chizik is gone.

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Chris Vannini is the lead writer for and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to

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