The writing was on the wall pretty much from the start of this season for Auburn head coach Gene Chizik and the inevitable has happened. The Tigers have announced that they have fired Chizik after he turned in a 3-9 season that saw Auburn go 0-8 in the SEC, a season that ended with a 49-0 beat down at the hands of the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Chizik is just two years removed from leading the Tigers to a trip to the National Championship victory over the Oregon Ducks. A lot of people can now justly credit that to Cam Newton and Newton alone, as in the two seasons after losing his quarterback to the NFL, Chizik went 11-14 with one bowl win against Virginia in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
“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.” Chizik said in a statement released today. “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.”
Auburn has formed a committee consisting of former players Pat Sullivan, Bo Jackson and Mac Crawford who will conduct what the school hopes is a thorough search for a new head coach.
As for Chizik, he continued to reminisce, apologize, reflect and look forward in his statement he released.
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.
As I said four years ago when I arrived, Auburn was great way before we got here and it will remain great long after we leave. My sentiments about Auburn have not and will not change. I wish the next football coach all the best and I anticipate a smooth transition.
-Statement released by Gene Chizik
Don’t lose too much sleep over wondering what Chizik will do next. His buyout from Auburn will pay him and his assistants around $11.09 million dollars.