John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE
AU has fired Gene Chizik after four seasons on the Plains.
As first reported by CBS's Bruce Feldman, it's curtains for the Gene Chizik era at Auburn:
Gene Chizik has been told that he is out at Auburn as the Tigers head coach a source just told me.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) November 25, 2012
The official release is here. Current AD Jay Jacobs will lead the search committee, which will include Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan.
Chizik of course won the 2010 national championship, but none of his other three teams managed to finish in the polls. It's true that his replacing of Gus Malzahn with Scot Loeffler proved to be disastrous this season, but he's a defensive guy and none of his defenses were truly elite. Even the 2010 unit gave up more points than you'd expect and was bad against the pass. Perhaps the last straw (or maybe the worst record in 60 years was enough) came last week when we found out that the NCAA is investigating two of his assistant coaches.
Chizik as a head coach is just 8-28 without Malzahn as his offensive coordinator. HIs buyout could be worth as much as $7.5 million dollars, but it won't end up costing nearly that much if he gets another coaching job soon.
Auburn is in an interesting place as it looks for a new head coach. While Chizik's final season truly was miserable, it could be difficult to convince a big time head coach to come when the old guy only got two seasons after a national championship before getting a pink slip. Its best bet is to find someone who does things unconventionally, but who knows what Auburn fans will be willing to tolerate at this point.