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Former Auburn and Texas Defensive Coordinator Gene Chizik to Take over Tigers

Deric WinslettCorrespondent IDecember 13, 2008

Gene Chizik, according to reports by people within the Auburn athletic department and by ESPN, will become the former head coach at Iowa State.

Chizik is expected to be named Auburn football’s 26th head coach on Monday. Chizik was Auburn’s defensive coordinator under former head coach Tommy Tuberville from 2002–2004 before leaving for the same position at Texas, after his defense held opponents to an average of 11.3 points per game and a 13-0 season at Auburn. His defense at Texas in 2005 lead the Horns to an undefeated season and a national title in his first year there.

He then was hired by the Iowa State Cyclones after the 2006 season at Texas. 

Auburn AD Jay Jacobs is expected to officially announce Chizik as Auburn’s new head coach as early as Monday in order for Chizik to say goodbye to his players at Iowa State.

There will be a split between the Auburn fans about this hire. However, I suggest for all to keep an open mind and give a fair chance to Chizik. Like it or not, he is now the leader of Auburn football; he deserves to be supported. 

Chizik is excited about being back at Auburn as quoted from a general press release in provided by the AP.

“Through my travels in coaching over the last 23 years, there's one place that I've always wanted to return to and that is Auburn," Chizik said. "The tradition of the Auburn football program combined with the passionate fans and their love for Auburn are second to none.

“My family and I are Auburn through and through and look forward to being part of the Auburn family and community.

"I am dedicated to working tirelessly to win championships. We will not be outworked in any facet of the building process. I'm excited to get on the recruiting trail, meeting with the current players and reconnecting with past players. We want to develop young men into champions not only on the playing field, but in the classroom and in the community."

Although Chizik’s Cyclone team’s over last two seasons did not manage more than five wins, Tiger fans should not allow his record to influence their conclusion about the level of success Chizik will produce at Auburn. Historically, Iowa State is a very difficult program for which to coach.

Many were surprised that Chizik had taken the coaching position two years ago. I personally remember thinking it was a bad move. There could not be more of a polar opposite between two storied programs. Iowa State a story of hardship, losing, and desperation long before Chizik’s attempt to rebuild the program, while Auburn's is a story of championships, pride, power, and a tradition of winning. 

Chizik is a very good recruiter; he understands that it takes defense and a scoring offense to win in the SEC. He knows what Auburn is about and has solid relationships throughout the south in recruiting. The relationships he built with high school coaches while at Texas will be a vital new recruiting base from which to draw for Auburn football. As well as Georgia, Alabama, and his home state of Florida.   

I am sure I speak on behalf of the true Auburn family as I welcome coach Chizik and his family back to Auburn. Good luck, and War Eagle. 

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