Gene Chizik stood on the stage at University of Phoenix Stadium moments after Wes Bynum's game-winning field goal gave Auburn their first national championship since 1957. The Tigers' second-year head coach leaned toward John Saunders and proclaimed into the microphone, "Fifty-three years, baby! This is for you. War Eagle!"
It took Auburn 53 years to win their second national championship. It took them fewer than two years to fire Chizik, doing so just 685 days after he beat Oregon in the BCS National Championship Game.
Since 1980, 29 different head coaches have won a national championship (coaches who won titles at different schools were included twice). Chizik is one of five who have been fired for performance-based reasons. Another three have been fired for off-the-field reasons and 17 left voluntarily. Four coaches (Dabo Swinney, Jimbo Fisher, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer) are still at the program they won a title with. Those who "resigned" due to off-the-field issues (e.g. Jim Tressel) were included in the fired for off-the-field reasons.
The 25 non-Saban et al. coaches remained at their program for an average of 7.1 years (calculated after the most recent title for coaches with multiple titles). Those fired for performance-based reasons lasted an average of 10 years, while coaches fired for off-the-field reasons stayed an average of 12 years and those who left voluntarily did so an average of six years later.
Chizik remains the most recent title-winning coach to not be with that program. Each of the four coaches who've won titles since the 2011 season are still with their respective teams. He was the fourth coach to be fired for performance-based reasons since the 2001 season, when Larry Coker and Miami (FL) won the championship. Coker was fired five years later. Between 1980-2000, zero coaches who won titles were later fired for performance-based reasons.
Here's a full breakdown:
|Year||Team||Coach||Fired/Left||Fired Reason||Final Year||Years After|
|2014||Ohio State||Urban Meyer||–||–||–||–|
|2013||Florida State||Jimbo Fisher||–||–||–||–|
|2002||Ohio State||Jim Tressel||Fired||Off-the-Field||2010||8|
|2001||Miami (FL)||Larry Coker||Fired||Performance||2006||5|
|1999||Florida State||Bobby Bowden||Left||–||2009||10|
|1993||Florida State||Bobby Bowden||Left||–||2009||16|
|1991||Miami (FL)||Dennis Erickson||Left||–||1994||3|
|1989||Miami (FL)||Dennis Erickson||Left||–||1994||5|
|1988||Notre Dame||Lou Holtz||Left||–||1996||8|
|1987||Miami (FL)||Jimmy Johnson||Left||–||1988||1|
|1986||Penn State||Joe Paterno||Fired||Off-the-Field||2011||25|
|1983||Miami (FL)||Howard Schnellenberger||Left||–||1983||0|
|1982||Penn State||Joe Paterno||Fired||Off-the-Field||2011||29|