"I'm excited," Tuberville says. "Today is a new beginning for Auburn athletics. This has been a long time coming since last year. I think Hal Baird has done an excellent job for the situation that he's been in. He's had to put this back together for the last 10 or 12 months. This has been a pretty extensive search and I have been involved in it from day one. I haven't had a lot of opportunities during the season, but it has picked up the last couple of months and especially the last couple of weeks.
"There were some good candidates and Dr. (Ed) Richardson was really involved in this thing," Tuberville adds. "He wanted to make sure he made the decision that was right for Auburn and not right for anybody else. That excited me. Jay has been hired and I'm excited about that. I have had long talks with Jay. Obviously, there are some perceptions out there that people were a little bit nervous about Jay and whether he could handle the job or not, for several different reasons. After knowing Jay for six years and being a friend of his and watching him and listening to his ideas on how to set the athletic department up to make it the best in the country I have no doubt that he can get the job done."
One of the questions on Jacobs during the process was of a perceived tie to the Board of Trustees because of his history within the Auburn program. Tuberville says that Jacobs has a chance to show his critics how wrong they were and he believes that will be apparent pretty quickly once he gets on the job.
"He's going to have to set the record straight on several things and I'm sure he can do that," Tuberville says. "He's a strong person and he's strong willed. He's the right man for the job and I'm going to give him all the support I can. I've got my hands full and he's got a lot of other areas other than just football to worry about. I'm going to try to help him out and ease his mind on that and give him all the support I can."
One thing that Tuberville says he liked about this search was his involvement in the process. The football coach and athletic director work hand in hand at schools the size of Auburn and Tuberville says he's ready to work with Jacobs to make Auburn the best program in the country.
"I was asked my opinion on this by Dr. Richardson," Tuberville says. "If I didn't think he could handle it I would not have gone along with it. Dr. Richardson might have hired him anyway, but he asked my opinion and I gave it to him. I think Jay can do it. I don't think there's any doubt he's got his hands full. It's kind of like starting a football program over and I know a little bit about that. It's going to be a tough job, but he can do it. He's got the resources and the support from myself, my coaches and I'm sure all the other coaches. It can't be a one-man show. It's like a football team. You have to have everybody pulling in the same direction. Starting today we need to get everybody, not only the football part of it, but all the other coaches, fans, all the Auburn family now needs to go in the same direction because we have only scratched the surface on the success we can have if we do that. Jay is our leader. I'm excited about it and looking forward to working with him."