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Auburn University Announces Changes in Football Program

Nov. 25, 2012

AUBURN— Gene Chizik, who has directed the Auburn football program for the last four seasons, has been dismissed as head coach, Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs announced Sunday.

“After careful consideration and a thorough evaluation of our football program, I have recommended that Coach Chizik not be retained,” said Jacobs. “President Gogue has accepted my recommendation. Earlier this morning, I informed Gene that he will not return as head coach.”

Jacobs noted that Coach Chizik has served Auburn with class and dignity. “He has exemplified the ideals of the Auburn Creed throughout his tenure here, and it has been a pleasure to work with him. I personally appreciate all that he has done and wish him the best.”

In four seasons at Auburn, Chizik guided the Tigers to a 33-19 record, including a 3-9 mark in 2012. Chizik led Auburn to a perfect 14-0 season in 2010 and the BCS National Championship. Auburn was 8-5 in his first season in 2009 and again in 2011.

University President Dr. Jay Gogue added, “I sincerely appreciate Coach Chizik and his staff for their commitment, hard work and leadership. Athletics Director Jay Jacobs is now devoting his time and energy to search for a new coach who will lead Auburn football to excellence. I look forward to receiving a recommendation from his committee.”

Working with Jacobs on the search committee are noted Auburn alumni Mac Crawford, Pat Sullivan, and Bo Jackson.

“The search committee will work hard and work smart, consistent with the expectations set by Dr. Gogue,” Jacobs said. “We will be thorough and thoughtful as we look for someone with a track record as a proven winner, a commitment to playing within the rules and a focus on student-athlete academic success. We’re privileged to have such a distinguished group put in the time and effort to lead this search.”




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. 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.

In my 27 years of coaching, I have gained an understanding of the high expectations in this profession. When expectations are not met, I understand changes must be made.

While we experienced a tremendous low in 2012, I will always be proud of the incredible highs that we achieved, including three bowl victories, an SEC championship and a national championship.

I want to thank Dr. Gogue and Jay Jacobs for the great opportunity they gave me. I’m confident in their leadership ability to continue to move this football program forward.

I feel blessed to have been surrounded with so many great coaches, players and administrators that have worked relentlessly and dedicated themselves to this institution. I will miss not being able to continue to mentor these players on a daily basis. I’m confident these young men will continue to excel both on and off the field. They are a great group and I wish them nothing but the best.

I’ve been fortunate to spend seven years of my coaching career at Auburn, which is an incredible place to work and live. My family and I have been blessed to call Auburn home and look forward to remaining in the Auburn community.

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.

I encourage the Auburn family to continue to be ‘All In’ and support this great university and its athletics programs. War Eagle!  

Auburn Head Football Coach Search Committee
Pat Sullivan
Sullivan, an All-American quarterback at Auburn Tigers, won the Heisman Trophy in 1971 and then played six seasons in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins. He is currently the head coach at Samford University; he was previously the head coach at Texas Christian University (TCU) and the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

Bo Jackson
Jackson, a former baseball and football player at Auburn was the first athlete to be named an All-Star in two major American sports, and he also won the Heisman Trophy in 1985. He was a running back for the Los Angeles Raiders and he played left field and was a designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox and the California Angels.

Mac Crawford
Crawford was a two-year letter winner at fullback for Auburn from 1968-69. Recognized as one of the country's most successful businessmen and turn-around experts , he was the Chairman of the Board of CVSCaremark and CEO and Chairman of the Board of CaremarkRx, Inc. Currently he is a private equity investor in the healthcare services industry.

Information on Auburn Football Buyout

  • The total buyout for Coach Gene Chizik and his nine full-time assistants is $11.09 million.
  • Six assistant coaches will be paid the remainder of their 2012-13 contracts in equal monthly installments until its conclusion on June 30, 2013.
  • Three coaches – Brian VanGorder, Scot Loeffler and Trooper Taylor – have contracts that expire on June 30, 2014. They will be paid in equal installments over the next 18 months.
  • Chizik’s buyout will be paid in monthly installments through four fiscal years concluding in 2015-16.
  • All buyout figures could decrease with future employment.
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