Breaking: Gene Chizik out as head coach at Auburn

Gene Chizik will not return as the Auburn Tigers head football coach. (John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE)

After suffering one of the swiftest and most disastrous falls from grace in the history of college football, Auburn’s Gene Chizik is reportedly not going to return to the lead post after claiming the 2010 BCS National Championship for the program.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs announced the move and a meeting has been called for Sunday afternoon in which the school’s brass will inform players of their decisions, facilitated by the 49-0 spanking the team sustained at the hands of in-state rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl.

“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.”

The beat down at the hands of the Tide capped the worst season in over 60 years for the once-proud program, and its 0-8 mark within the SEC was an unprecedented display of futility out of Chizik’s crew.

Again, this only two years after leading the school to an 8-0 in-conference record and a BCS National Championship, largely on the strength of Heisman winner Cam Newton’s rocket arm and shockingly fast feet.

A 63-21 loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 27 matched the worst defeat since 1917 and the 671 yards allowed were the most in school history. In non-Auburn fan’s fashion, half of Jordan-Hare Stadium was empty by halftime.

Georgia then crushed the Tigers, 38-0. All accounts reported that the school wanted to retain Chizik, and to show him the type of goodwill a crystal ball should provide. However, the already poor football program only got worse as the season went on.

Auburn was outscored 150-21 in its last three games.

University president Dr. Jay Gogue detailed what the next steps will be now that Chizik is gone.

“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.”

If Chizik was not on the same page regarding the direction of his now-former program, at the very least Dr. Gogue and Jacobs are saying all the right things, demonstrating a united front as the coaching search begins at Auburn in earnest.

“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.”

Chizik led the Tigers to a 8-5 record in 2009 and 2011, with the perfect season in-between, before the wheels completely fell off the bandwagon in 2012. The school has dealt with various recruiting violations, and currently is under the threat of sanctions for forging the transcript of a former player.

Again, months of speculation finally became reality only a day after the football season ended, and now the highest-profile coaching search thus far begins in earnest.

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