AUBRUN, Ala (WPMI) -- Officials at Auburn University announced Sunday the school has fired football coach Gene Chizik after the team finished with no SEC wins for the first time in school history.
"Earlier this morning, I informed Gene that he will not return as head coach," Auburn Athletic Director Jay Jacobs said in a statement posted on the school's athletic website.
Chizik, who took over the football program in 2008, led the team to a BCS National Championship in 2010. The 2012 season, however, was more than disappointing as the team finished 3-9. Chizik's tenure overall has been sub par with a 19-19 record not including the title season. The team, in its final 3 SEC games this season was outscored 150-21.
"As we all know, the competition in our league is fierce, and in the final analysis, I decide that can not risk falling further behind by waiting another year and hoping for improvement; that is why we decided to go in a different direction," Jacobs told reporters in a Sunday news conference.
McGill High School standout quarterback Jason Smith, Jr. has committed to Auburn, but had not heard of Chizik's status until contacted by Local 15 Sports anchor Clement Townsend. Smith's father, Jason Sr., said he expects his son to stay committed to Auburn for now. The father added his son will continue to look at a few other schools including Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Arkansas State, which is coached by former Auburn assistant coach Gus Malzahn.
A search committee for a new coach includes former Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan along with Tiger great Mac Crawford.