Auburn fires Chizik after 3-9 season

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AUBURN, Ala. — Gene Chizik led Auburn to perhaps the greatest season in the program’s history, and two years later to maybe its worst.

Auburn coach Gene Chizik watches from the sidelines during the second half of a 49-0 loss to Alabama. Chizik was fired Sunday.  DAVE MARTIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
DAVE MARTIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Auburn coach Gene Chizik watches from the sidelines during the second half of a 49-0 loss to Alabama. Chizik was fired Sunday.

The rapid fall from a national championship to 3-9 and the Southeastern Conference doormat led to Chizik’s firing Sunday, the day after a humbling 49-0 loss to No. 2 Alabama that showed just how far the program has slipped.

The Tigers endured the worst slide within two years of winning a national championship of any team since the Associated Press poll started in 1936 and hadn’t lost this many games since going 0-10 in 1950. The decision came 17 months after Auburn gave Chizik a contract worth some $3.5 million annually through 2015 with a hefty buyout.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said he informed Chizik on Saturday night that he would recommend to President Jay Gogue the next morning that Chizik not be retained.

He said he had concerns with lopsided losses in 2011 but grew “very concerned in our fundamental approach to the game” after the Arkansas game.

“I had hoped our team would show some improvement this season,” Jacobs said. “Unfortunately it didn’t. The competition in our league is fierce. I decided we could not risk falling further behind by waiting for another year and hoping for improvement.”

The players were informed in a team meeting Sunday.

“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,” Chizik said in a statement released by Auburn. “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.”

The Tigers went from 14-0 with a perfect SEC record with Cam Newton leading the offense in 2010 to 3-9 and 0-8, losing their final three league games by a combined 150-21. Auburn was blown out by Texas A&M (63-21) and Georgia (38-0) but the finale was even more painful for Tigers fans.

The Crimson Tide cruised to a six-touchdown halftime lead and the second-most lopsided Iron Bowl victory in history, behind only the Tide’s 55-0 win in 1948.

“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,” Chizik said.

He was 33-19 in four seasons and 15-17 in SEC games.

Auburn said the total buyout for Chizik and his assistant coaches is $11.09 million. Chizik’s buyout is expected to total $7.5 million and will be paid in monthly installments for the next four years.

Six assistants are under contract through June 30, 2013 while defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler and wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor have deals extending another year beyond that.

The buyouts could be reduced if the coaches find other jobs.

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justthefacts
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justthefacts 11/25/12 - 08:26 pm
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Scam

I guess the price for Scam Newton was high.

Just My Opinion
5709
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Just My Opinion 11/25/12 - 08:57 pm
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Chizik made a deal with the

Chizik made a deal with the devil in paying for Newton and now he's got to pay. Well, actually, AUBURN's the one who has to pay....$156,250 a MONTH...a MONTH!!...for the next 4 years!! Wow! And it's not over yet, folks! Next up for Auburn is yet ANOTHER NCAA investigation. As a SEC fan, I do feel it's pretty sad. And it's pretty unbelievable that this program has fallen so far and so fast. Oh, well...better them than Georgia! At least that thug coach Trooper Taylor will be canned!

griff6035
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griff6035 11/25/12 - 09:39 pm
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Firing

Stupid is as stupid does.

Grandpa Jones
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Grandpa Jones 11/26/12 - 09:08 am
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...

Sounds like Gene Chizik felled victim to "What have you done for me, lately?" attitude that is sweeping across America.

David Parker
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David Parker 11/26/12 - 09:13 am
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All things considered, Chizik

All things considered, Chizik sans Cam was a waste of money. The BCSNC was the only thing they actually got some return on. Reap it War Eagles!

Conservative Man
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Conservative Man 11/26/12 - 06:35 pm
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FYI...

....They aren't "War Eagles"...They are "Tigers" ...War Eagle is the fight chant, sorta like "Go Cocks" or "harf harf" or whatever it is Dawg fans do....just saying...
Sad to go from first to worst in less than two years but such can be college football....

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