Gene Chizik does a great job at Little Rock Touchdown Club Part 1

Gene Chizik does a great job at Little Rock Touchdown Club Part 1

Gene Chizik did a great job at the Little Rock Touchdown Club on Sept 30, 2013 and I got to see the coach up close and he did not disappoint at all. He pointed out that schools are not being patient with coaches and not giving them time to build their programs. Southern Miss just fired their coach after one year he noted. Currently we have new coaches at Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee and who knows if these coaches will be given enough time to build their programs?

Chizik: Coaches will stay under fire

By Jeff Halpern

This article was published October 1, 2013 at 4:15 a.m.

At Monday’s Little Rock Touchdown Club luncheon, former Auburn Coach Gene Chizik said the “days of patience and tolerance are gone.”

Chizik’s coaching career is a prime example of that. In 2010, with Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton at quarterback, Auburn went 14-0 and defeated Oregon 22-19 in the BCS Championship Game. A year ago, after a 3-9 season, Chizik was fired.

After Southern Cal fired Coach Lane Kiffin on Sunday morning and Connecticut Coach Paul Pasqualoni was fired Monday – and with his former boss, Texas Coach Mack Brown under fire -Chizik said he understands what’s going on.

“Whether it’s right or wrong, that’s the way it is,” said Chizik, who is now radio analyst for Sirius/XM. “It’s the culture of college football that’s been created. It’s just reality and the way it works. You look at Ellis Johnson. He was hired as the head coach at Southern Miss and after one year, he was fired, and now he’s the defensive coordinator at Auburn.”

Chizik said he’s not bitter about his departure from Auburn: “Did I want another year? Yes, I did. But the reality is that’s not the way things work.”

When asked what went wrong in his last two years at Auburn, when the Tigerswent 11-13, Chizik declined to go into specifics, other than to say, “It was the perfect storm.”

Auburn is 3-1 this season under first-year Coach Gus Malzahn, who was Chizik’s offensive coordinator in 2009-2011 and won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant in 2010. Chizik said he and Malzahn remain friends and denied reports that there was friction between the two of them in 2011 when Malzahn left to become the head coach at Arkansas State, where he led the Red Wolves to a 10-2 record and a Sun Belt Conference title in 2012.

Chizik was not the first Auburn coach who was forced to leave after posting a perfect season. In 1993, Terry Bowden led the Tigers, who were on probation, to an 11-0 season.After 1-5 start in 1998, Bowden resigned. In 2004, Auburn went 13-0 under Tommy Tuberville, but was denied a spot in the national championship game. Tuberville, Chizik’s former boss, was fired after going 5-7 in 2008.

Meanwhile, Alabama, Auburn’s biggest rival, has won three of the past four national championships. When asked if there is an inferiority complex among Auburn fans when they see the success Alabama is having, Chizik said, “It would be tougher if we hadn’t won one in between. It’s a very heated rivalry and when you look across the state and see the success that your rival is having, it does make everyone anxious.”

Auburn dealt with controversy in 2010. Mississippi State boosters reported to the media that Newton’s father Cecil allegedly said it would take between $100,00 and $180,000 to get Newton to sign with the Bulldogs after Newton finished his eligibility at Blinn (Texas) Junior College in 2009. Auburn maintained it was not involved in any pay-for-play scheme. The NCAA declared Newton ineligible on Nov. 30, 2010, but reinstated him a day later on the basis was Newton was not eligible of his father’s illegal activity and there was not sufficient evidence that Newton or anyone from Auburn had any knowledge ofCecil Newton’s activity.

“It was a tough situation to go through, but as a staff we shielded the players from the allegations and we knew we didn’t do anything wrong,” Chizik said. “The thing that got me was how something that was Mississippi State’s problem to begin with became Auburn’s problem.”

Sports, Pages 17 on 10/01/2013

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