When the Auburn Tigers announced that Tommy Tuberville would not return for the 2009 season I seriously doubt Gene Chizik was the man the fans expected as a replacement. After all what would really lead someone to believe that a man with a 5-19 record as a head coach is ready to take over one of the more prestigious programs in America? What makes the situation worse is that Auburn is in the SEC which is the toughest conference in college football.
If you take a look at the head coaches in the SEC you will see high profile names such as: Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer, Lane Kiffin, Les Miles, Nick Saban, Houston Nutt, Bobby Petrino and Mark Richt. Tommy Tuberville was a name that belonged on that list of high profile coaches. I doubt many people would even consider putting Gene Chizik on that same list. This is what has Auburn Tigers fans all upset because they got rid of a legend to bring in someone with no name recognition or track record for that matter.
All things considered Gene Chizik has been highly successful as a defensive coordinator both at Auburn and Texas. Both of those defenses were near the top in the country under Chizik. However he isn’t a defensive coordinator he is a head coach. His record as a head coach stinks having went 5-19 in two seasons at Iowa State with most of those wins against Division II-A teams. Perhaps what is worse is that Iowa State was one of the worst teams in the country defensively and that was supposed to be his area of expertise. The rumors around Iowa State were that Gene Chizik was on the hot seat. I bet they were amazed when the coach they were talking about firing told them he was leaving them for Auburn.
The hiring of Gene Chizik as Auburn head coach could impact recruiting more than any other area. Let’s say you are a recruit from the area and you are looking at the schools and coaches of the surrounding southeastern conference teams. You look around and see Nick Saban at Alabama, Les Miles at LSU, Houston Nutt at Mississippi, Mark Richt at Georgia, Lane Kiffin at Tennessee and Urban Meyer at Florida. That list includes men that have won multiple national titles, sec titles and some that even have coached in the NFL. Then you have Gene Chizik at Auburn whom has yet to even post a winning season as a head coach.
Life is gonna be very difficult for Gene Chizik these next couple years unless he can perform miracles on the football field. Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin, Les Miles and Urban Meyer are recruiting machines at their respective schools and I doubt Gene Chizik is gonna stand a chance at stealing their recruits. If Auburn starts consistently losing to Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss then fans are gonna call for Chizik’s head and probably sooner rather than later.
Source(s) – http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3767115 , http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/blog/dr_saturday/post/Gene-Chizik-meet-Auburn-s-finest-torches-and-pi?urn=ncaaf,128957 , http://blog.al.com/ray-melick/2009/03/melick_auburn_coach_gene_chizi_1.html , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Chizik , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auburn_Tigers_football