Gene Chizik's jump from Iowa State to Auburn was one of the most interesting in college football history. Turns out, it was even more interesting than we knew at the time.
Chizik was Auburn's defensive coordinator from 2002-04, leading a dominating defense during the Tigers' 13-0 season in 2004, before taking the same position at Texas in 2005. Two years later, he was named Iowa State head coach, the first job north of Tennessee for the Florida native who spent 19 of the first 21 years of his coaching career in Alabama, Florida, South Carolina and Texas.
Chizik went 5-19 in his first two seasons, but the Cyclones lost several close games to good teams and were recruiting at a high level. He wasn't dubbed the next Earl Bruce, but folks in Ames were optimistic.
Then Auburn fired Chizik's former boss, Tommy Tuberville, and offered Chizik an interview. He dismissed departure rumors and didn't plan on interviewing, that is until his current boss, Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard, encouraged him to do so.
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“I felt like he should do that,” Pollard told Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register. “If he was going to be successful at Iowa State, I didn’t want him to be here thinking that 'I should have gone and done that."
Birch discusses Chizik's interview and his intention to withdraw, which Auburn rejected and instead offered him the job. Read the full story here.