Unsurprisingly, we’ve touched base on the absolute train wreck that was the Gene Chizik era twice already. On this final installment of the Gene Chizik Magical Misery Tour, we’re going to try to forget two of the most infamous words in Cyclone lore.
In the midst of the disastrous 2008 season, Gene Chizik was somehow being linked to a potential opening at Auburn, as Tommy Tuberville’s teams had been underperforming in recent season. At a press conference, he addressed the rumors, saying, “Anybody who knows myself, my wife, my family, they know that we are firmly entrenched here in Ames.”
After the season, Chizik held a meeting after Thanksgiving for every player to discuss the rumors surrounding him potentially leaving for Auburn. At the meeting, he assured players that he wasn’t going anywhere, and that he was committed to the program. Just a few weeks later, on December 13th, 2008, Auburn University announced Gene Chizik as the next head football coach.
Instead of being informed privately, players were forced to find out about the departure of their coach on TV and by following the story on the internet. Understandably, many players felt betrayed and abandoned. “I’m more upset than most because it takes me a long time to trust,” former wide receiver Darius Darks said. “I’ve had a lot of people walk in and out of my life, and for this to happen, it’s like it’s happening all over again. I traveled 1,000 miles to get away from all that, and now it happens here.”
I don’t know what everyone’s definition of “firmly entrenched” is in regards to a job, but my guess is that it doesn’t involve leaving for another job just a few weeks later.