Auburn has decided to relieve Gene Chizik of his head-coaching duties after a series of disappointments during the 2012 season, according to Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports.
Gene Chizik has been told that he is out at Auburn as the Tigers head coach a source just told me.
— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) November 25, 2012
UPDATE: Sunday, Nov. 25 at 2:30 p.m. ET by Ben Chodos
Both Auburn and Gene Chizik have released official statements.
Per AuburnTigers.com, athletic director Jay Jacobs wrote the following:
After suffering some tough losses in a transition year in 2011, we had hoped our team would show improvement this season. Unfortunately, it has not. The competition in our league is fierce and is currently at an all-time high, and we cannot risk falling further behind by waiting another year and hoping for improvement.
That is why after careful consideration and a thorough evaluation of our football program, I have recommended that Coach Gene Chizik not be retained.
Auburn has fired Gene Chizik. He says in statement:"When expectations are not met, I understand changes must be made."— John Zenor (@jzenor) November 25, 2012
Chizik statement: "I'm extremely disappointed with the way this season turned out and I apologize to the Auburn family ....— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) November 25, 2012
Chizik statement continued: "... and our team for what they have had to endure."— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) November 25, 2012
---End of Update---
Chizik was hired to replace Tommy Tuberville in 2009. In just his second season at the helm, he and quarterback Cam Newton led the Tigers to a 14-0 record and the university’s first national championship in 53 years.
But Chizik has made history in the wrong way this year, and the team’s 1-6 record was the worst the program had fared through seven games since 1952, as noted by ESPN.
The Tigers limped to a 3-9 record, going a pathetic 0-8 in the SEC, and the calls for Chizik's job grew louder with each passing week.
Chizik led the Tigers to an 8-5 overall record and a Chick-fil-A Bowl victory over Virginia last season, and he has built a reputation as one of the best recruiters in the country during his tenure in Auburn. From 2010 to 2012, Rivals.com never ranked his incoming classes lower than 10th in the nation.
However, Chizik was unable to get his talented team to perform on the field this year, and the likely scenario of a winless SEC campaign caused the administration to move in a different direction. If the team fails to defeat any of its next three conference opponents, it will be the first time it goes winless in an eight-game SEC schedule, according to CBS Sports’ Jerry Hinnen.
The program enjoyed a storied history and a proud tradition. While losing seasons are never ideal, this level of futility could not be tolerated in the administration’s view.
It will surely be a bumpy road forward for Auburn following the coaching change, but Chizik’s successor will not have to win many games in order to improve on this season.