Hey everyone. So I made reference yesterday to a little feature we'll run here at the HABOTN for the next few weeks. Here it is.
We'll start off with The Head Coach. That seems reasonable. I'll be altering the categories based on the coach. Guys without any ties with Auburn don't need their Auburn ties discussed. Right?
If you have other categories that deserve discussion, mention them in the comments section. As you know, I abide the HOTTIES.GENE CHIZIKAge:
47 (born 12/28/61)College:
B.A. from Florida, 1985; M.A. from Clemson, 1991.Playing career:
Spent one season playing LB at Florida.Coaching career:
Auburn, head coach (2008-present)
Iowa State, head coach (2007-2008)
Texas, defensive coordinator (2005-2006)
Auburn, defensive coordinator (2002-2004)
Central Florida, defensive coordinator (1998-2001)
Stephen F. Austin, defensive coordinator (1996-1997)
Stephen F. Austin, linebackers (1992-95)
Middle Tennessee State, defensive ends (1990-1991)
Clemson, graduate assistant (1989-1990)
Seminole High, defensive coordinator (1986-1988)Mentor:
Mack Brown, head coach at TexasPrevious Auburn experience:
Chizik spent three seasons as Tommy Tuberville's defensive coordinator beginning in 2002. I considered him an upset winner for that job back then, which I figured would go to Chuck Pagano. He was one of Tuberville's buddies from U. Miami and, at the time, a defensive assistant with the Cleveland Browns. Chizik was a pretty private guy during his days as an Auburn assistant. He was thrifty with his words. I never got the sense he enjoyed speaking with reporters. Though I wouldn't describe him as unpleasant, Chizik was here to do a job and his focus on that task never seemed to waver.Coaching philosophy:
I'd still put him in the "C.E.O." category, but he's more moderate than Tuberville. While Tuberville gave his assistants little (if any) significant technical oversight, Chizik provides plenty of real-time input during practices and staff meetings. With that said, his most meaningful assistant jobs (Auburn, Texas) were associated with head coaches willing to concede varying levels of control. Chizik isn't a micromanager. He is an involved manager.
Chizik employed 4-3 schemes at Auburn and Texas. I consider secondary coverages to be his specialty. Auburn's defensive backs were at their zenith during Chizik's final two seasons. They defended passes well, busts were sporadic and communication problems were rare. The Tigers didn't blitz very often. It's my belief that Chizik's abilities were most evident once David Gibbs made his one-year sortie in 2005 and Will Muschamp after that; the team's defensive backs clearly regressed in a number of areas.
One could argue that not having Carlos Rogers around made a difference. Still, I gained a new appreciation for the technical side of Chizik's defense during Auburn's 2005 season.Personality profile:
He's a reserved guy who analyzes the long-term ramifications of what he says. You won't get into a war or words with Chizik. He doesn't gossip. Even when CB Montae Pitts was acting a fool in 2004, earning a one-game suspension at one point, Chizik was remarkably reserved with his criticism.
He's a vanilla kind of guy. He's aware of that image, though. I don't think it's a coincidence that outspoken guys like Trooper Taylor, Tracy Rocker, Curtis Luper and Jeff Grimes became members of the Tigers' staff. They offset Chizik's button-down demeanor.
He reminds me of a military officer in many ways: Direct with his words, task oriented, unlikely to kill time with idle pursuits.