January 14, 2010
When Coach Gene Chizik was introduced as our head coach just over a year ago, the process of building a solid foundation for the future of Auburn football began.
I hired Coach Chizik because I believed he was the right fit for Auburn. As I said at his introductory press conference, I knew that he would be a relentless recruiter and tireless worker who would re-energize Auburn football while always representing Auburn with class and character.
A year later, it is even clearer to me that Coach Chizik is the right man at the right time for Auburn. I have seen up close how Coach Chizik, his staff and our players have changed the culture and injected new energy, a stronger work ethic and more enthusiasm into every phase of our program. There is no doubt that Coach Chizik has put us on a path to reach the goals that we all have for Auburn football-winning championships. We are not there yet, but we are on our way.
Coach Chizik is the first head coach in Auburn history to lead a team to a bowl in his first year, and winning the Outback Bowl was a great finish to a solid season. We will keep the momentum going by presenting the 2010 Outback Bowl trophy to Coach Chizik at halftime of our basketball game against No. 2 ranked Kentucky this Saturday at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.
As you know, Coach Chizik and his staff are closing in on National Signing Day, and all indications are the 2010 recruiting class is shaping up to be one of the strongest in school history. While work remains to be done, there is no question that Coach Chizik and his staff will in time bring in the level of talent we must have to compete for championships.
I also want to thank each of you for being faithful supporters of Auburn football this year and every year. We compete in the toughest conference in the country, and to reach the summit we must all continue to support Auburn at the highest level. I can promise you that we will do what it takes as an Athletic Department by investing in facilities, supporting our coaching staff and continually working to improve the game-day experience. I challenge you to do your part to support our staff and our team as well.
We are pleased to announce that Tigers Unlimited Ticket Priority contributions will not increase for the 2010 season for the orange, blue, or gray zones. We are tightening our budget so that we do not have to pass along an increase in TUF per-seat contributions this year to our loyal supporters.
The 2010 home schedule features a number of fantastic games, as the Tigers will host Clemson, South Carolina, Arkansas, LSU and Georgia. It will truly be a great year for football on The Plains, so be sure to renew your TUF membership and purchase your season tickets before the deadlines. Auburn will also play in a nationally televised Thursday night game for the first time since 2008 when the Tigers go to Starkville to face Mississippi State on Sept. 9, 2010. Auburn is 6-2 all-time in Thursday evening games.
We have come a long way in one year. The Auburn Family is as strong and as united as I have ever seen it, and I have been a part of this special place for more than two decades. Momentum is building, excitement is growing, and the future is bright. I hope you will continue to be a part of it.
God Bless and War Eagle!
Director of Athletics