Is It One-And-Done For Co-DC Chizik?

Texas Co-Defensive Coordinator Gene Chizik has spent two weeks preparing for his first Aggie game, but inquiring minds want to know if Friday's affair might also be his last regular season game as a Longhorn assistant.

Chizik has made no secret of his head coaching aspirations. His time in Austin was generally regarded as an interim stint after head coach Mack Brown landed the former Auburn DC the same day Chizik accepted the Frank Broyles Award last January as the National Assistant Coach of the Year. His stock continues to rise as his defense is one of only four nationally (Miami, Virginia Tech, Alabama) to rank among the Top 20 in all five major defensive categories.

Did Brown simply rent Chizik for the 2005 season?

"I have no outside interests at all right now," Chizik said Tuesday.

The operative phrase is "right now." Brown's staff is loaded with assistants who aspire to head coaching stints, but he asks them to defer the interview process until after the bowl season.

"We hope people are interested in (assistant coaches) because it means we're winning and they're trying to come and find out why," Brown said. "We'd love for our guys to be head coaches, and we would never hold them back. We'd like for them to focus on our football team through the bowl game and, after that, we'll help them do anything we can to get the jobs that they want."

Texas assistants are regularly approached about coaching vacancies that the public does not always hear about, Brown said. The implication is that Texas assistants have some leverage, and can be relatively choosy, in landing the promotions that suit them best. In addition, Chizik has a proven record of trying to make decisions that are right for his family (the first five minutes of his Tuesday coordinator press conference is typically spent listening to what he did with his children over the weekend). He is also a man of deep religious conviction and, when pressed, has mentioned that his choice to leave Auburn and come to Texas was a "prayerful" one that was God-directed. Before coming to Texas, Chizik turned down the DB coach position with the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars and declined an offer to be the DC at North Carolina State.

"This is where I'm at and what I'm doing," Chizik said. "I'm just keeping my blinders on and keeping focused in one direction and that's to win a national championship. That's what our goal is and that's what I'd like to do."

His defense is giving up just 277.8 ypg (NCAA No. 6, Big 12 No. 1); 113.4 rushing ypg (NCAA No. 20, Big 12 No. 5), 164.4 passing ypg (NCAA No. 6, Big 12 No. 1) and 14.3 points-per-game (NCAA No. 5; Big 12 No. 1). It comes on the heels of Chizik's Auburn defense finishing No.1 nationally in points allowed (11.3 ppg) on the way to the Southeastern Conference championship and a 13-0 season.

It's still hard for Chizik to comprehend that, thus far, he has been part of two undefeated seasons at different programs in consecutive years.

"It's been a tremendous blessing," Chizik said. "It's really hard to comprehend to do this twice. It's been a great run and, obviously, we control our own destiny which is a little bit different than we had last year."

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