Auburn has finally fired their square peg head coach.
When Auburn hired Bryan Harsin back in December 2020, it came with much befuddlement from outside the AU Administration walls. Nothing about his background, personality, or record made this look like a good fit. He was winning double digits at Boise but it was still a dropoff from the Chris Petersen era. He had no recruiting or SEC ties.
After firing Gus Malzahn, Auburn thought they could do better. They were a bit nonplussed to get a plethora of “no thank yous” from coaches such as Billy Napier and Brent Venables. So, they ended up with Plan C or D or who knows how down the line they had to go to get a “yes”.
It got ugly from the beginning and there was even a failed coup d’état that included false allegations with hopes of firing Harsin for due cause which meant avoiding the gigantic buyout that they originally gave him for no good reason.
Harsin finishes his time in Lee County with a 9–12 record in two seasons and 4–9 in the SEC. Running backs coach Cadillac Williams will be Auburn’s interim coach for the rest of 2022. No word on Harsin’s “assistant” (above) as of yet.
This move comes on the same day that Mississippi State athletic director John Cohen agreed to become the next AD at Auburn. Cohen is expected to make about $1.5 million a year plus incentives. Aside from a got-hot-at-the-right-time 2021 baseball National Championship (see 2022 Phillies), it is unclear why Auburn wanted him. Reports have said that AU went after Arkansas AD Hunter Yurachek, but he turned them down. It is interesting to note that Auburn football plays at Mississippi State this weekend.
Auburn owes Bryan Harsin right around $15.5 million in buyout money. Per his contract, 50 percent of that is due within 30 days ($7.75 million) and the remaining 50 percent ($7.75 million) in four installments.— Chris Low (@ClowESPN) October 31, 2022
Auburn also handed $5M to buy out Kevin Steele during last year’s failed coup. Including the buyout of Gus Mahzahn, the total comes to around $41.5M in buyouts. And then there are all the the other assistants from two different staffs.
Brace yourselves for all the ridiculous pie-in-the-sky “candidates” that the Aubies will float out there (Kiffin, Freeze, Deion, Stoops, etc.). Recruiting is in the garbage pail, the roster has been decimated, and the toxicity is at an all time high. It will be reality check time for Auburn when they realize nobody good wants this job.