Gene Chizik back in the SEC West? It was certainly a possibility at one point. Reportedly.
According to Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, Chizik did indeed draw the interest of MSU. In fact, he interviewed for the opening Saturday. A day later, though, Feldman reports, Chizik removed his name from consideration.
No reason for the withdrawal was given.
SOURCE: Former Auburn HC Gene Chizik interviewed with Miss. State for its head coaching vacancy on Saturday. The next morning Chizik removed himself as a candidate… Wouldn't be surprised if Chizik returns to coaching, just has to be an ideal fit.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 6, 2020
Chizik was the head coach at Auburn from 2009-2012, leading the Tigers to the 2010 national championship. Two years later, he was fired by the university following a 3-9 season.
Prior to taking over at Auburn, he was the head coach at Iowa State for two seasons. During that time, he posted a 5-19 record. Overall, he’s 38-38 as a head coach.
After his Auburn dismissal, and following two seasons on the sidelines, Chizik was the defensive coordinator at North Carolina for two years. In February of 2017, Chizik announced that, “[a]fter a lot of prayer and discussions with my wife and children, I have made the difficult decision to step away from coaching to be with my family.”
Since stepping down at USC, Chizik has served as a college football analyst for ESPN and the SEC Network.
With Chizik apparently no longer a consideration, a handful of candidates remain a part of the search in Starkville:
- Air Force head coach Troy Calhoun
- UAB head coach Bill Clark
- Florida defensive coordinator Todd Grantham
- Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz
- New England Patriots special teams coordinator/ex-MSU football player Joe Judge
- Army head coach Jeff Monken
- Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian
Louisiana’s Billy Napier, prominently mentioned early on, stated over the weekend that he’s not a candidate.