With the clock ticking — maybe — on Gene Chizik‘s time at Auburn, the university has finally addressed its embattled head coach and the football program.
In a statement released by the university Thursday afternoon, president Jay Gogue said that he understands the concerns expressed to his office regarding the Tigers’ on-field performance this season “are sincere and heartfelt, and I share many of them.” Chizik was not mentioned by name, and Gogue said that, as the school does annually, “the football program will be evaluated in an objective, thorough and professional process.”
The Tigers have stumbled out of the gate at 1-6, and have lost all five SEC games this season. In fact, AU hasn’t won a conference game since Oct. 29 of last year, and have lost eight of their last nine in SEC play. The worst part? The Tigers are staring a winless SEC season straight in the face as they still have No. 22 Texas A&M (this weekend), No. 12 Georgia (Nov. 10) and No. 1 Alabama in the season-ending Iron Bowl (Nov. 24).
Only non-conference games against New Mexico State and FCS-level Alabama A&M will afford the Tigers any realistic shot at winning again before the curtain closes on the 2012 season, if not Chizik’s time on The Plains.
Gogue, though, implored in his letter to the masses that the fan base continues to support the players.
“For everything there is a time, and now is the time to support,” read the closing paragraph of Gogue’s missive. “The young men and women – our students – who make up Auburn University are grateful for the dedication of their extended Auburn Family. So am I.”
This is certainly an abrupt and unexpected development.
In a rather brief and terse press release, Purdue announced that Tony Levine is no longer a member of Jeff Brohm‘s (pictured) Boilermakers coaching staff. Per the school, Levine will be pursuing unspecified opportunities outside of the coaching profession.
Below is the text of the release, in its entirety:
Purdue head football coach Jeff Brohm announced today that assistant coach Tony Levine has resigned to pursue opportunities outside of coaching.
The loss of Levine leaves a rather sizable hole for Brohm to fill. Not only was the 45-year-old assistant the team’s co-offensive coordinator, but he served as special teams coordinator and tight ends coach as well. Levine had just completed his first season with the Boilermakers.
Levine was the head coach at Houston from 2011-14 and the special teams coordinator/tight ends coach at Western Kentucky prior to coming to West Lafayette.
Nick Saban has found his fourth offensive coordinator in 14 months, and he didn’t have to go very far do so.
With rumors swirling around a certain disgraced former SEC head coach, signs had seemingly been pointing to Saban possibly, or even likely staying in-house for his next Alabama coordinator on the offensive side of the ball. According to Chris Low of ESPN.com, the head coach plans to do just that as Mike Locksley is expected to be promoted to offensive coordinator. It’s expected Locksley will assume responsibilities as the Tide’s quarterbacks coach as well.
Locksley would replace Brian Daboll, who left after one season in Tuscaloosa for the same job with the Buffalo Bills earlier this month.
Locksley has spent the past two seasons with the Crimson Tide, the first as an offensive analyst and last year as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
The former New Mexico head coach last served as a coordinator at Maryland from 2012-15. He also spent three seasons (2006-08) in the same job at Illinois.
Yesterday, we noted that the door might be ajar for Jauan Jennings‘ return to the Tennessee football team. A day later, it appears he may have been given permission to walk across the threshold.
While there’s nothing official from the program, Jennings, who is enrolled at UT for this semester at UT, indicated on his private Instagram account Thursday evening that he will be playing “one last season” with the Volunteers.
In November of last year, Jennings went off on a profanity-laced social-media tirade aimed at the coaching staff. The day after, he was dismissed by interim head coach Brady Hoke, who made the decision in concert with then-athletic director John Currie.
Jennings has since met with new head coach Jeremy Pruitt and new athletic director Phillip Fulmer about a return. “I think (Pruitt has) put some parameters around” a return Fulmer stated during a radio interview late last week, “and I guess everybody has got to figure out what those are and if they’re really going to do it.”
In early September, prior to the off-field issue, Jennings suffered what turned out to be a season-ending wrist injury that limited him to three catches for 17 yards in just one game.
Jennings, who originally came to the Vols as a quarterback, was second on the team in 2016 with 580 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. His 40 receptions were tied for second on the team as well.
A familiar face has returned to the Colorado coaching staff.
Following up on reports that surfaced earlier this week, CU confirmed that Mike MacIntyre has hired Ashley Ambrose as the Buffaloes’ new cornerbacks coach. Ambrose spent the 2008-10 seasons with the Buffaloes, first as a defensive assistant and then, after a very brief stint as wide receivers coach, he took over CU’s defensive backs.
“We’re really excited about Ashley Ambrose coming to the University of Colorado, he brings great expertise for our corners that he’ll be coaching,” MacIntyre said in a statement. “He was here before, loved it then and I am glad to have him back now. Not only does he bring great coaching experience over the last few years, but he also brings phenomenal playing experience from being in the NFL, so he’ll add a lot to our secondary.”
Then past two seasons, Ambrose was the defensive backs coach at Boise State. He’s also had collegiate stops at Cal (2011-12), Idaho (2014), Texas State (2015).
Ambrose, a second-round pick in the 1992 NFL draft, spent 13 seasons at that level of football.