Bryan Harsin Fired as Auburn HC; Cadillac Williams Reportedly Named Interim

Monday, October 31, 2022

Bryan Harsin Fired as Auburn HC; Cadillac Williams Reportedly Named Interim

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Auburn announced Monday it fired head football coach Bryan Harsin following a 3-5 start to the 2022 season.

ESPN's Pete Thamel reported the school could be looking at a $15 million buyout to make the coaching change. In the wake of Harsin's exit, Cadillac Williams, who had been serving as the Tigers' running backs coach, was named the interim head coach, per Chris Hummer of 247Sports.

The only surprise was that it took this long for the Tigers to move on. Harsin's departure became all but inevitable after Auburn went 6-7 in 2021 and proceeded to have a turbulent offseason in which the status of its head coach was in flux.

This now becomes arguably the most attractive opening on the coaching market. Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger cited Lane Kiffin, Hugh Freeze and Matt Rhule as possible candidates.

The manner in which Harsin's tenure unraveled might turn some candidates away, and it's easy to forget how much of a mess the process that led to his hiring was.

Auburn fans and boosters have high expectations, and the latter group includes a lot of voices who aren't always pulling in the same direction.

Gene Chizik guided the Tigers to a 14-0 record and a national title in 2010. He was fired in 2012 after the team went 3-9. Gus Malzahn went 68-35 in eight seasons with the Tigers. Consistently getting to a bowl game and going 3-5 against Alabama wasn't enough to keep everybody happy. And now Harsin is gone after not even getting two full years.

The extent to which Harsin was undermined reflected the general dysfunction of the program as well. He was cooked the moment the Auburn administration said in February it was launching an internal investigation.

Harsin called that time "one of the hardest weeks of my career" and said "the personal attacks on me and my family went too far and were without justification."

A new athletic director at least presents the opportunity for some much-needed stability. Thamel reported Auburn was nearing a deal to poach John Cohen from Mississippi State.

And despite all of the drawbacks, this is one of the few schools that can reasonably assert an ability to compete for national titles. The Tigers were perfect in 2004 under Tommy Tuberville, won a championship with Chizik and reached another BCS Championship Game with Malzahn.

Nick Saban and Alabama obviously cast a big shadow in the state, but the 71-year-old isn't going to stick around forever. A younger coach in particular might relish the chance to challenge Saban and run the SEC West once he's gone.

If nothing else, accepting the Auburn job means you're all but guaranteed to collect a hefty payout if things don't work out.

from Bleacher Report

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