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Auburn's Jerraud Powers talks about the transition to Gene Chizik as Auburn's new head football coach and the loss of AU's old coaching staff.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn defensive back Jerraud Powers had just walked out of a fall semester final exam on Saturday when he got a phone call saying that Gene Chizik may be coming to Auburn as the new head football coach.

"I was like, ‘Oh, yeah, he used to recruit me.' I started going back to memories of when he came to my house, kicked his feet up and did all of those things. I knew about his background here at Auburn. I knew about his background at Texas. It is just exciting. I was eager to meet him."

Powers got to do that on Sunday night. He was one of the players waiting to greet Chizik at the Auburn airport when the new AU head coach arrived on a flight from Ames, Iowa, where he had been head coach of the Iowa State Cyclones the past two years.

Powers notes that Chizik remembered him when the coach got off the plane. "Me and Walt (Walter McFadden) were sitting there and he recruited both of us," the redshirt junior cornerback says. "He comes up to us and said, ‘I told you I was going to coach you.' It was funny just to talk about it and those stories."

What wasn't fun for Powers to talk about Sunday night is what the coaching change means to the former Auburn staff. Chizik met with all of Tuberville's staff on Sunday night except for offensive line coach Hugh Nall, who has already taken a job outside coaching in Albany, Ga.

Chizik told the 2008 coaching staff that they need to be looking for jobs. He has not announced if he plans to keep any members of the 2008 coaching staff on board or bring in a completely new group of assistant coaches.

"I feel real bad for the assistant coaches because they are out looking for a job right now and sort of how things are going in the coaching profession it is kind of hard to find a good job again, a job like Auburn," Powers says. "I feel bad for them and their families.

"Coach (Paul) Rhoads, for instance, he just got here and he might have to go and move again," Powers says of the defensive coordinator and secondary coach who came to Auburn from Pitt for the 2008 season. "It's a big transition, especially moving across the country like he did.

"Guys like Coach (James) Willis, who I have been around since I have been here, it is going to be real tough," Powers adds. "We are going to keep in touch with them and keep up with them throughout the rest of our lives. There is a relationship no matter what happens they can't take it away from us."


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