Gene Chizik Fired: 5 Schools Who Should Consider Hiring Former Auburn Coach
Chizik showed that he could put together winning football teams while at Auburn and he carries a strong coaching pedigree, so a future head job will undoubtedly be in the works before too much of the dust settles.
Auburn saw Chizik go 33-19, and win a national title in his four-year run with the school. Despite the early success of the program under his guidance, a 3-9 record this season ended his run at the top.
Here are the five schools that should look at the national title-winning coach.
Boston College Golden Eagles
Boston College announced the firing of Frank Spaziani on what has become known as “Bloody Sunday” in college football.
The Golden Eagles have gone 22-29 in the past four seasons under Spaziani, finishing the past two years with losing records. Boston College needs a turnaround, and Gene Chizik could be the guy to handle the job.
If Chizik stepped in to coach Boston, he would have a longer timetable than most schools to rebuild a deflated program. He was able to find great success on the recruiting trail at Auburn and could bring a lot of top prospects into the fold for the Golden Eagles.
While this won’t likely be the landing spot for Chizik, it would be a school that would be wise to give him an interview.
The UTEP Miners announced the retirement of head coach Mike Price on November 19 and immediately began the search for his replacement.
Gene Chizik knows the state of Texas after spending time at Stephen F. Austin and Texas earlier in his career. He would be able to step in and know the recruiting game in the biggest recruiting hotbed in the country.
The Miners want to win football games and Chizik’s pedigree shows that he can. While UTEP may not be a national title contender, they would have a winning surge if they brought in Chizik to run the program.
This would be a great fit for both school and coach. UTEP is looking for a big name that can be snagged at a modest price, and Chizik needs a new home to rebuild his career.
Western Michigan Broncos
Bill Cubit was fired by Western Michigan this past Saturday after a season-ending loss to Eastern Michigan. The Broncos finished the year at 4-8 after two consecutive winning seasons and a bowl appearance in 2011.
The Broncos have seen a lot of success recently under Cubit and are looking to continue that trend with their next hire. Chizik could fit this role well for the Broncos.
The program has the tools on campus to win, it simply needs a director to pull it all together. Chizik did that at Auburn in 2009 and 2010—winning a national title with the team—so the assumption would be that he could step in and manage this team as well.
Idaho is not a traditional powerhouse in college football, but when the program touches success and then flops, a change is made. Robb Akey took over Idaho in 2007 and has since coached five losing seasons in six years.
His time was cut short this season when the Vandals fired him on October 21.
The Vandals have an interim head coach in Jason Gesser, but having a shot at Gene Chizik may change how this team looks at its coaching situation.
Chizik could step into a mess and rebuild a program by going .500. This would be a great place for Chizik to regain traction in the coaching world.
Georgia State Panthers
Bill Curry announced his retirement from Georgia State in August, preparing the Panthers program for a coaching transition early.
Curry helped build this program from the ground up, becoming the first head coach for the Panthers in 2008. The team will be a full time FBS member in 2013, and eligible for bowl competition in 2014.
What better place to rebuild a career than to launch a program into major college football? Gene Chizik knows this area well after spending four years as Auburn’s head coach and could help continue the rise of this fledgling program.
Of all positions that are available, this would be the best fit for coach and school. It would give Chizik a chance to rebuild a reputation away from the spotlight, and give the Panthers a title-winning coach on a bargain.