Chizik Named National Coach of the Year

Auburn's Gene Chizik will be presented one of the national coach of the year awards this week.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik will be in Orlando on Thursday for the ESPN Home Depot's College Football Awards ceremony where he will be honored as the national coach of the year.

In his second season as head coach of the Tigers, Chizik's team is 13-0 and ranked No. 1 nationally by the BCS going into a Jan. 10th game vs. the 12-0 Oregon Ducks. The winner will be presented the BCS National Football Championship Trophy.

"I've very humbled to receive this award," Chizik said. "This is not just an individual award. It is a reflection of the hard work and success of our team, coaches and staff. It is an honor to receive this award on behalf of Auburn University."

Chizik is shown at the awards show in Orlando.

Auburn athletic director, Jay Jacobs who hired Chizik said, "I want to congratulate Coach Chizik on the high honor of being named the Home Depot Coach of the Year.

"Coach Chizik has done a spectacular job in a short period of time at Auburn. Leading us to a 13-0 record just two seasons after being named head coach is a remarkable accomplishment, but we are most proud of Coach Chizik for the character and integrity with which he represents Auburn University and the outstanding role model that he is for our student-athletes.

"This award is also a tribute to a sensational team of outstanding young men and a phenomenal group of assistant coaches," Jacobs added. "It is a credit to them all and to Auburn."

The former Tiger defensive coordinator returned to Auburn in December of 2010 and Chizik exceeded the expectations of many football experts in leading his 2009 Auburn team to eight victories and an exciting Outback Bowl victory over Northwestern.

After salvaging the 2009 recruiting class and hiring an outstanding staff of assistant coaches, he followed that with one of the nation's top-rated recruiting classes in 2010 and Auburn's first SEC Championship since the 2004 team finished the season 13-0.

Steve Spurrier of South Carolina was named the SEC Coach of the Year on Wednesday instead of Chizik, but a pair of Tigers won SEC Awards. Cameron Newton was named the SEC Offensive Player of the Year and offensive tackle won the Jacobs Award as the conference's top blocker.

Last year the Tigers won eight games, the second highest total ever for a first-year Auburn head football coach. Chizik became the first Tiger head coach to lead his team to a bowl victory.

Chizik's 2009 team set school records for points scored (433), total yards gained (5,613), offensive plays run (914) and passing touchdowns (25). His Tigers scored in 41 of 52 quarters during a season that featured four touchdowns by the defense and two on special teams. His 2010 will break even more school records.

Chizik is finishing his fourth season as a college head coach and has 24 seasons as a football coach with all but two of those seasons in the collegiate ranks. His background is on the defensive side of the football where he has coached ends, linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks.

ITAT TV: Gene Chizik

In his first stop at Auburn he coordinated the defense from 2002-2004 and was a key part of the coaching staff that led the Tigers to an unbeaten season in 2004. During the 39 games he coached at Auburn the Tigers won three bowl games, had nine wins vs. Top 10-ranked opponents and held 24 of their opponents to two touchdowns or less. Nine of his Auburn defenders earned All-SEC honors while Karlos Dansby, Carlos Rogers and Junior Rosegreen earned All-America status. Rogers won the Thorpe Award as a senior which is presented to the nation's top defensive back.

Chizik left poses with South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier prior to Auburn's 56-17 victory over the Gamecocks in the SEC Championship Game.

Prior to coming to Auburn, Chizik spent four years as defensive coordinator at the University of Central Florida. He inherited a defense ranked 81st nationally and improved it to 16th in total defense before taking a job at Auburn. In 2005 he left Auburn to become defensive coordinator at the University of Texas and helped the unbeaten Longhorns win the BCS championship with a defense that was ranked in the Top 10 in fewest points allowed and fewest yards allowed. During his two seasons in Austin, Chizik coached six players who earned All-America honors before leaving for his first head coaching position at Iowa State.

In two seasons at Ames, where he inherited a program in disarray, he helped put in the foundation for a team that managed to return to the bowl scene in 2009 featuring players that Chizik and his ISU coaching staff had recruited.

Gene Chizik Bio

Born: Dec. 28, 1961

Hometown: Clearwater, Fla.

Wife: Jonna

Children: daughters, Landry Grace and Kennedy Danielle and son, Cally

Education: B.A. from Florida (1985) and M.A. from Clemson (1991)

Playing Experience: Florida (1981)

Coaching Experience:

2007-08: Iowa State, Head Coach

2005-06: Texas, Assistant Head Coach/Co-defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

2002-04: Auburn, Defensive Coordinator/Secondary

1999-2001: Central Florida, Defensive Coordinator/Secondary

1998: University of Central Florida, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

1996-97: Stephen F. Austin, Defensive Coordinator/Secondary

1995: Stephen F. Austin, Secondary Coach

1992-94: Stephen F. Austin, Linebackers Coach

1990-91: Middle Tennessee State, Defensive Ends

1988-89: Clemson, Graduate Assistant Outside Linebackers Coach

1986-87: Seminole, Fla., High School, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers

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