Who did Chizik, fresh off the BCS national title, focus his attention? Louisville assistant Clintt Hurtt.
That was an easy decision for the Auburn coach. After all, Hurtt is one of the rising coaching stars in the nation after being named ESPN's National Recruiter of the Year. A former player at Miami, Hurtt's resume also includes a coaching stint with the Hurricanes. Despite his relative youth, Hurtt is a hot commodity.
That's why Chizik tried to lure him to Auburn to replace Rocker, who made $330,000 while on the Tigers staff. Hurtt, who also serves as Charlie Strong's recruiting coordinator, earned $200,000 in his first year at UofL.
On Wednesday, Hurtt and his wife, Tanisha, flew to Auburn to discuss Chizik's offer. The Tigers, no doubt, made a strong pitch. However, Auburn's offer wasn't enough to entice Hurtt to leave Strong and Louisville.
"Big news!! The Big Hurtt is staying with the Cardinals," Strong announced on his Twitter account Thursday.
Big news, indeed. The nation's top recruiter is staying put in Louisville and will continue supplying Charlie Strong's program with the talent needed to make a run at the BCS. Without question, Hurtt's decision to turn down Auburn should send a strong message nationally that something special is happening in Louisville.
"I wanted everyone to know I'm not going anyplace," Hurtt wrote on his Facebook account. "I appreciate everything that Coach Chizik and Auburn showed my wife and I. I owed it to my family to at least look at the opportunity to coach in the SEC. [But] I believe in Charlie Strong and the Univ. Of Louisville and believe we are on the way to great things!"