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Word from Jay Jacobs

December 4, 2008

While you have no doubt read or heard numerous reports about the resignation of Coach Tommy Tuberville, I felt it was important to speak directly to the Auburn Family about where we have been and where we are headed.

First, let me share a little about the timeline of what has transpired.

Prior to Tommy and I meeting with Dr. Gogue on Monday morning, I asked Coach Tuberville to outline a comprehensive plan to address some key issues related to the future of the program.

The three key areas were: What it will take to elevate our program to the next level where we can consistently compete for SEC Championships and beyond; recruiting and how we can attract the caliber student-athletes we need to reach that level; and the stability of our coaching staff moving forward.

Over the course of the past two days, Coach Tuberville and I had several discussions on these and other important issues.

On Tuesday afternoon, Coach Tuberville told me he wanted time to think about and discuss with his family whether he wanted to continue leading our program after a difficult year.

Coach Tuberville then told me of his decision to resign as head coach early Wednesday afternoon. Coach Tuberville assured me that he was committed to remaining an active part of the Auburn Family and wanted to do everything he could to ensure a smooth transition to a new head coach.

Given his assurance that he wanted to help build on his legacy and ensure a bright future for our program, it became clear to me and to President Gogue that honoring the terms of his contract was the right thing to do.

Coach Tuberville has been an outstanding head coach who has represented Auburn well on and off the field. Under his leadership, our student-athletes have represented Auburn in a first-class manner. I know you join me in thanking Coach Tuberville for all the good things he has done for Auburn and wishing he and his family nothing but the best.

In our search for a new head coach, we will be looking first and foremost for a coach who is the right fit for Auburn and who can elevate our program to the next level. We will move as quickly and efficiently as possible, but we will be thorough and strategic in our search.

As we have seen from the experience of other schools in recent years, speculation and rumors will likely be rampant throughout this process. Just know that we will not be speaking publicly about the search or disclosing potential candidates until a new coach is hired.

We will be retaining the services of a search firm to help us identify the best possible candidates for the job. This enables us to get the deepest possible pool of candidates in a confidential manner and ensures that we will be able to get as much background information on candidates as is possible.

I want to emphasize that it is not the search firm's job to hire a coach. President Jay Gogue has charged me with that task. I will make a recommendation to the President once the best candidate is identified.

I also want to assure each and every member of the Auburn family that we will continue to support our football program at the highest level. We appreciate your support during the good times and the tough times. We need your support now and in the days ahead.

Change can be daunting and difficult. We need to celebrate and appreciate all that Coach Tuberville did for Auburn and vow to pull together as we move forward into a new era filled with promise.

Always know that as your Director of Athletics, my responsibility and my promise is to always do what's best for Auburn.

That will never change.

God bless, and War Eagle!

Jay Jacobs
Director of Athletics

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