Jay Jacobs figured the hiring of Gene Chizik as his football coach might raise a few eyebrows. What Auburn’s athletics director didn’t expect was the firestorm that ensued.
The national media questioned the hiring of Chizik, who had led Iowa State to only five wins in two years, and raised the issue of race because the school passed over University of Buffalo coach Turner Gill. They, and many Auburn fans, believed the school could have and should have made a better hire.
But the one-year anniversary of Chizik’s hire passed quietly Sunday not with a team in disarray, but with the Tigers preparing for a New Year’s Day bowl game and what may be their best recruiting class in years.
Jacobs welcomed the anniversary by noting a turnaround season. And many fans and commentators have a different perspective now.