Auburn, Ala.--Auburn’s athletic director, Jay Jacobs, said he told Gene Chizik on Saturday night he was going to recommend to Auburn’s president that the fourth-year AU head coach be fired.
Jacobs said he called President Jay Gouge on Sunday morning with that recommendation and he agreed, setting in motion a process in which Chizik and his entire staff of nine assistant coaches were relieved of their jobs on Sunday.
“I have been thinking about it all year,” Jacobs said of his decision to recommend a change, even though Chizik had a 3-0 record in bowl games and won the BCS National Championship with a 14-0 season in 2012.
“I think it is an unusual situation, but with the commitment we have to athletics, and particularly the football program, 3-9 is just unacceptable,” Jacobs said. “In this fierce environment that we’re in with this league and being highly competitive, you have to win in order to be able to compete at this level and stay here and be a coach.
“I think we’re in a position now better than we’ve ever been in to hire a coach,” Jacobs added. “Everybody wants to win a national championship and it has been proven you can do it here at Auburn. The resources and effort we put into supporting our football program is at the highest level.
“I think we’re going to have the best pool we’ve possibly ever had to hire a head coach,” said the athletic director.
Commenting on what Auburn is looking for in a head coach, Jacobs said, ““Competing in the SEC, and in particular the SEC West, people that want to win championships and people that have the personality we need to have to win championships, those are the people that will be coming to the front of the line.”
Jacobs wouldn’t give a time frame on when he wanted to have a replacement on board. He said he is looking for the right fit whether it is a coach with an offensive background or a defensive background.
Jacobs met with Auburn’s assistant coaches on Sunday and told them they were fired, but noted several may be staying on to help the transition. The athletic director said because the season is finished and the players are preparing for final exams that he did not feel it is necessary to name an interim head coach.
The total buyout for all of the coaches is $11.04 million, Despite the high figure, Jacobs said that Auburn will not have any issue coming up with the money to bring in a new staff.
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