Jacobs Comments on Tuberville, Coach Search

Athletic Director Jay Jacobs said Thursday that Tommy Tuberville's departure as AU's head coach was a resignation and talked about plans to replace the coach.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn's athletic director, Jay Jacobs, said on Thursday that head coach Tommy Tuberville resigned on Wednesday afternoon and wasn't fired. Also, Jacobs didn't put a timetable on a search for a new head coach.

Tuberville began meeting on Monday with the athletic director to discuss the coach's plans for improving the team after a disappointing 5-7 season that dropped Tuberville's career Auburn record to 85-40.

Speaking at a press conference on the AU campus, Jacobs said he had three areas of focus in his talks with Tuberville. Jacobs said he wanted to talk to Tuberville about making sure the program can compete for nationally championships, can recruit top athletes on a national basis and the stability of the coaching staff.

"Yesterday, in our meeting, Tommy told me he wanted to resign," said Jacobs, who added that Auburn is "honoring" the coach's contract, which calls for a buyout of approximately $6 million if he was fired as head coach. The contract also called for Tuberville to pay the same amount to Auburn for not fulfilling his end of the agreement.

Jacobs stated, "I asked him, I said, ‘If you have another job, Tommy, that you want to go to, the buyout is zero. If you don't want to be here, you have another opportunity, you don't have to pay Auburn. It is probably not going to make a lot of people happy, but that is what we should do.'"

Jacobs said he had a brief conversation with Bill Carr of Bill Carr and Associates, a coaching search firm, about getting a search started for Tuberville's replacement. Jacobs said he didn't have knowledge of any contacts having been made with other coaches concerning bringing in a new head coach.

"We are going to be as efficient as we possibly can, we are going to be thorough, we are going to be strategic and we are going to hire the best person for Auburn regardless of the timeline."

Jacobs said the plan is to honor the contracts of assistant coaches. "We are going to honor their contract, and as Tommy has mentioned that he would stay and continue to help call these commitments we have, we will ask these coaches that would like to, who would like to stay and continue to recruit for Auburn, we would love for them to do that." Jacobs said he isn't certain how many are going to do that.

Asked if Auburn was willing to make a strong financial commitment to bring in a high profile coach, Jacobs said that AU won't have constraints on finding the right person for the job.

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