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It cost $8.78 million for Auburn to buyout Gene Chizik and staff

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Auburn wanted to buyout the contract of former head coach Gene Chizik so badly the school was willing to carve out $8.78 million just to move on. According to a report from, Auburn set aside nearly that much to buyout the contracts of Chizik and the assistant coaching staff before bringing Gus Malzahn back to Auburn.

As reported, Auburn was originally prepared to spend $11.09 million to buyout the various contracts but the total was reduced as coaches found jobs elsewhere. Chizik, who led Auburn to a national championship just four seasons ago, received a buyout of $7.5 million to account for the remainder of his money owed on his contract. Auburn will pay Chizik a little more than $200,000 per month through the 2015-2016 fiscal year.

The remainder of the $8.78 million in buyout money was reserved for former assistant coaches Scot Loeffler, Brian VanGorder and Trooper Taylor. All three coaches have received their final buyout payments.

Auburn worked in the red last year, but with the buyout costs starting to trim down and with a nice boost from revenue sharing through the addition of the SEC Network, Auburn should be in decent shape a year from now.

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16 Responses to “It cost $8.78 million for Auburn to buyout Gene Chizik and staff”
  1. patbocam says: Jul 25, 2014 11:13 PM

    AU looks to be moving in the right direction riding the Gus Bus. But you never know though….. I attribute much of the early success, especially 2010’s national championship run to Gus & Cam as much as I do to Gene. Chiz gets credit for bringing Gus to AU’s campus in 2009. Thats it. However if Gus is a bust, AU put themselves even deeper in debt with a contract give to Gus much like the one Gene signed. It contains a very high buyout.

  2. ducksk says: Jul 25, 2014 11:23 PM

    The $ makes me puke. What has college athletics become? Time for change. Big change.

  3. orthomarine says: Jul 25, 2014 11:23 PM

    They took up a collection from the players


  4. woakland says: Jul 26, 2014 12:26 AM

    “…but we can’t afford to pay the players…”

  5. marooncat79 says: Jul 26, 2014 8:23 AM

    There wa$ no collection needed Bobby took care of it. They ju$t went to the bank and voila. Actually, he probably led the charge to get rid of Gene, he i$ Mr Money bag$ there

  6. queenlivekillers says: Jul 26, 2014 9:01 AM

    Worth. Every. Penny.

  7. dryzzt23 says: Jul 26, 2014 9:11 AM

    Who pays for this? The students and taxpayers for this “non-profit” university.
    I fully expect an announcement about tuition increasing at AU soon…due to “needs of the University to improve the infrastructure”

  8. js20011041 says: Jul 26, 2014 10:37 AM


    That money comes from private donors. Most of the money that pays the exorbitant salaries of college football coaches and pays for the facilities comes from private donations. While I agree the cost of college is outrageous, I’m not sure you can pin it on the salaries being earned by the coaches. The better question to ask is, how much are college administrators being paid?

  9. polegojim says: Jul 26, 2014 11:38 AM

    @ducksk – don’t puke over the pay, puke over the poor performance… while getting that kind of pay!

    Entertainers will get paid best market value they can generate. College football is pure entertainment.

    Consider movie entertainers can make Gene’s buyout… for ONE movie.

  10. dcroz says: Jul 26, 2014 12:15 PM

    Auburn has a history of giving coaches enormous raises after an outstanding season with large buyouts in their contracts, only to fire them a couple seasons later when the wheels fall off the program. Terry Bowden got a huge bump in pay after going 11-0 and 9-1-1 in his first two seasons; within a couple years he was fired after a 1-5 start due at least in part to defensive coordinator Bill Oliver essentially coordinating a coup d’état for the head job. Tommy Tuberville also got a large raise and buyout after going 13-0 in 2004; he ended his tenure in 2008 after a 5-7 season and a 36-0 loss to Alabama. And as we all remember, Gene Chizik got megabucks after the 2010 BCS Championship season, but was fired 22 months later after a 3-9 mark. So going by the track record on the Plains, Malzahn might not want to get too comfortable in that head coach’s chair just yet.

  11. Deb says: Jul 26, 2014 1:29 PM

    People need to get over this nonsense about what coaches are being paid. Can’t speak to Auburn, but according to Forbes, Alabama spent approximately $37 million on its football program for the 2011-2012 year–and the program generated approximately $82 million for the school.

    These programs bring in a HUGE return on investment. The more they win, the more they earn for their schools. Football pays for most other university sports programs plus the salaries of many academics. So let’s stop pretending it’s oh-so-terrible these coaches make salaries commensurate with the revenue they generate.

    The annoying thing here is that Auburn is stuck paying Chizik money he wasn’t worth. As patbocam said (much more tactfully), the school owes its championship to Newton and Malzahn. Chizik was just along for the ride. And it’s netting him a heckuva payday.

  12. polegojim says: Jul 26, 2014 2:14 PM

    @ Deb. Amen.

    But I’ll add… only if they EARN it, IE ROI, it’s a business.

  13. 24pointlead says: Jul 26, 2014 3:14 PM

    @ Deb. Actually, the most annoying thing is that all Chizik has to do to get the funds is attempt at seeking new employment. This translates into having his agent send his resume’ to an occasional job opening.

    @dcroz – the fact is that Bowden got caught with an intern. Bill Oliver had nothing to do with it.

  14. dcroz says: Jul 26, 2014 3:18 PM

    I don’t remember anything about the intern (sure you aren’t confusing him with Mike Dubose at Alabama?) but I do remember that Oliver was trying to push Bowden out the same way he was trying to oust Gene Stallings at Alabama, which was why he was on the Plains in the first place.

  15. 24pointlead says: Jul 27, 2014 9:39 AM

    Thanks for the refresher on Oliver – agree. Lowder dealt with Bowden over the intern so fast he was history in a flash.

  16. wadaea says: Jul 28, 2014 10:59 AM

    I know this story is not about alabama but it makes me think what will happen with lame kitten when saban realizies his last three jobs were a bust and he just bought into him again.

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