Say what you will about how the Auburn Tigers performed in 2012– a performance was below expectations of a program that just hoisted a National Championship trophy recently–but be careful attacking Gene Chizik‘s character.
I say this because I have proof of his professionalism in the face of adversity, his appreciation for opportunity and its place in the bigger picture of time and tradition.
Below is the open letter Chizik penned to the Auburn community following his dismissal as the school’s head football coach on Sunday:
The cynics will say this was encouraged by an agent, or willed along by a PR agent of some sort in an attempt to save face, but I digress.
There are plenty of things that stand out about Chizik’s letter, but those that leap off the page are his appreciation for opportunity and his obvious understanding of his position in a small piece of time in the grand scheme of things.
Sure, Chizik left the Iowa State Cyclones in the rear-view to pursue a job at Auburn, a job he openly admitted was one he wanted for some time, but this does not belie the fact the language of this letter suggests nothing but reverence and respect for the institution in spite of circumstance.
In today’s age of coaches whose egos are fueled by massive contracts and even more massive endorsement and appearance agreements to further fuel an over-blown self-image, isn’t it refreshing to see a coach who seems to get the bigger picture, even if it just is at this moment in time?
As a comparison point, could you see some of the game’s bigger named–and well-egoed–coaches doing the same thing in a similar circumstance?
Regardless of what happens to Chizik next, he’ll land on his feet.
He understands his role in time and place and that understanding isn’t taught, it’s elemental.
Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page. Kris is the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.