Gene Chizik Fired at Auburn Two Years After Winning National Title
Gene Chizik and the Auburn Tigers won the national championship in 2010. Less than two years later, the school announced Sunday that Chizik had been fired after one of the worst declines since the A.P. poll began in 1936.
Under Chizik’s leadership, Auburn became the first team in FBS history to go from undefeated in conference play to winless in the conference in just three seasons. The Tigers’ 3-9 mark this year was their worst since going 0-10 in 1950. Auburn lost its final three SEC games by a combined score of 150-21, including a 49-0 loss to archrival Alabama on Saturday.
In 2010, the Tigers went 14-0 and won a national title with Heisman Trophy-winner Cam Newton under center, but without him, Chizik was just 19-19 overall and 7-17 in SEC play.
“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. “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.”
Firing Chizik won’t come cheap. Under the terms of his contract, Chizik is due a $7.5 million buyout with another $3.6 million due to his assistants. However, despite several off-field issues with players and NCAA scrutiny over Newton’s recruitment, Auburn did not fire Chizik “for cause,” meaning they are on the hook for his full buyout.