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Gene Chizik says he has no regrets leaving coaching for full-time fatherhood


When most coaches — and most people — leave jobs they’d rather keep they say they’re “resigning to spend more time with their family.” Gene Chizik actually did that.

Chizik had two years of full-time fatherhood in between his firing as Auburn’s head coach after the 2012 season and has hiring as North Carolina’s defensive coordinator in 2015. Chizik’s family stayed behind in Auburn while he worked in Chapel Hill, and he wrote in a column for USA Today that an epiphany he experienced while walking to a Tar Heels practice made him realize he wanted to leave a game he loved to spend his time with people he loves more.

I attended all 25 of my son’s baseball games this spring, even periodically getting the chance to flip burgers in the concession stand as all parents do. I have spent invaluable time with my twin daughters, who are now sophomores at Auburn University. Sometimes, it is daddy-daughter dates, while other times it might be late-night talks about life. Either way, they are priceless moments.

I wake up every morning unburdened by the stress so many working dads feel, whether they coach, manage a business or work in a factory. Getting some relief from the grind has given me two priceless gifts — quality time with my kids and perspective on life. 

It has been an amazing blessing to be able to do things that were not possible for so many years. Until this spring, I had only seen two of my son’s baseball games in two years. I was not present when my daughters moved into their freshmen dorms at Auburn, a great place we still call home.

In 2016, as I walked to another two-a-day practice at North Carolina, I watched carloads of families moving into the freshmen dorms. My family was doing the exact same thing 500 miles away. That’s when it hit me. It was time to make a change.

I knew right then I would never miss another of my son’s football or baseball games. He only has two years of high school left. There will be no more do-overs. Our nest will then be empty.

Chizik is only 55 and, as he noted in the paragraph above, his youngest child will be off to college next year. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he returns to coaching again.

But it sure doesn’t seem like it.

Tennessee announces $2.5 million ‘amicable resolution’ with ex-athletic director John Currie

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Nearly four months after ostensibly being fired as athletic director, John Currie has an official severance agreement with his former employer.

Tennessee announced Thursday evening that “it has completed an amicable resolution parting ways with former… Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics John Currie.” Currie had been earning $75,000 a month during a paid suspension; the university stated in its release that Currie will be paid a sum total of $2,220,454 (and 60 cents, for accounting purposes) no later than April 1 of this year.

Additionally, the release noted that Currie “will be paid his salary through March 22, 2018.”

In the midst of a football coaching search fiasco that included a Mike Leach hire that wasn’t, Currie was ousted as the AD at UT on Dec. 1 of last year and replaced by former Vols head football coach Phillip Fulmer.  Between then and today’s announcement, Currie had been technically employed but suspended with pay by the university.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Currie had been hired as an executive-in-residence at Robert Morris University.

FAU QB dismissed by Oklahoma ‘actually thanked’ Lane Kiffin for suspension that lasted two days

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That certainly didn’t last long.

Tuesday, after the first day of spring practice, Lane Kiffin revealed that Chris Robison had been indefinitely suspended from the Florida Atlantic football program for unspecified violations of team rules; one report had the suspension connected to skipping a mandatory tutoring session. At the time, the second-year head coach indicated that the suspension was day-to-day and could be lifted at any time.

As it turns out, Thursday was that time as the quarterback returned to the practice field with the rest of his FAU teammates.

“He came in [Wednesday] and actually thanked me for it,” Kiffin said according to the Sun-Sentinel. “He said it really kind of embarrassed him nationally and humbled him that things could kind of be taken away. It was good to see.”

A four-star member of Oklahoma’s 2017 recruiting class, Robison was arrested in April of that year for public intoxication; four months later, OU announced that Robison had been dismissed from the football program.  In August of last year, Robison announced his decision to transfer to FAU and ended up taking a redshirt for the 2017 season.

Robison and De’Andre Johnson are expected to compete for the starting job vacated by Jason Driskel, who announced earlier this offseason that he was retiring from the sport.  Johnson missed most of the 2017 season after blood clots were discovered in one of his arms.

Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa (thumb) returns to practice

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In the end, it appears to be much ado about (mostly) nothing.

Tuesday, after the reigning national champions had put the finishing touches on its first practice of the spring, Nick Saban confirmed that quarterback Tua Tagovailoa had suffered an unspecified injury to the thumb on his left (throwing) hand. It was expected that the quarterback would travel to Birmingham for further evaluation of the injury.

Wednesday, it was reported that the injury was believed to be just a sprain and that Tagovailoa could return to practice soon. That report proved prophetic as Tagovailoa was indeed back at practice Thursday, albeit on a limited basis.


The quarterback was not doing the normal drills with his teammates but was off to the side working with head athletic trainer Jeff Allen. It looked like they were testing Tagovailoa’s ability to grip the football since the injury was suffered on his throwing hand. He replicated a few play-action roll outs with the ball in his left hand. At one point, he rolled over toward where Jalen Hurts was standing and they high fived.

Until Tagovailoa is fully recovered, Jalen Hurts will take the majority of the reps as the Crimson Tide continues its march through their 15 spring practice sessions.

The rising true junior Hurts, who has started every game but one the past two seasons, and the rising true sophomore Tagovailoa, the national championship game hero who replaced Hurts at halftime of the overtime win, are entrenched in a competition for the starting job that, barring a post-spring transfer, is expected to extend into summer camp. That said, most observers outside of the UA football program fully expect Tagovailoa, because of his proficiency in the passing game relative to Hurts, to earn the job at some point before the Tide opens the defense of their title against Louisville in Orlando Sept. 1.

USC graduate transfer Jalen Greene heads east to play at Illinois in 2018

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Greene is turning orange. Well, Jalen Greene is at least.

The former USC wide receiver who announced he would pursue a graduate transfer earlier this month announced on Twitter that he would be heading East to play at Illinois in 2018. He will be immediately eligible to play for the Illini.

Greene was originally recruited by the Trojans as a dual-threat quarterback but eventually made the move to receiver. He caught eight passes for 98 yards at USC last season as a partial starter and added another eight receptions for 116 yards the year prior.

Illinois has already begun spring practice and has been trying several new players at wide receiver in the process to find a good complement to Mike Dudek on the outside. It seems Greene could find himself in the mix to be one of those guys when he arrives in Champaign.