Auburn fires Bryan Harsin: Tigers end awkward, fruitless tenure as sophomore

Auburn fires Bryan Harsin: Tigers end awkward, fruitless tenure as sophomore

Mercer vs. Auburn
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Maroon fired coach Bryan Harsin on Monday after a 41-27 loss to Arkansas, ending an uncomfortable and fruitless tenure at The Plains. Harsin was relieved of his duties as the Tigers fell two games under .500 to 3-5 in the season, with the program dropping 10 of their last 13 games and nine of their last 10 against Power Five opponents from last season.

“Auburn University has decided to change the leadership of the Auburn University football program,” the school said in a statement. ‚ÄúPresident Christopher Roberts made the decision after a thorough review and evaluation of all aspects of the football programme. Auburn will immediately begin searching for a coach who will return the Auburn program to a place where it consistently competes at the highest level and represents the winning tradition of Auburn football.”

Harsin finishes 9-12 (4-9 SEC) in less than two full seasons on the job after taking over for Gus Malzahn after the 2020 campaign. Malzahn was 67-35 (38-27 SEC) in eight seasons at Auburn.

Harsin entered the 2022 season on one of the hottest courses in the country despite only spending a year at The Plains. After a 6-7 debut in 2021 that ended in five straight losses, school power brokers attempted a coup to oust Harsin from his position. Frustrations over roster and coaching staff turnover, as well as Harsin’s failure to sign a single player on the traditional National Signing Day in February, sparked a week-long saga in which powerful figures from Auburn’s athletic department reportedly attempted to fire Harsin because. The move would have allowed those in power to avoid a takeover of around $15 million.

The attempt finally failed. Auburn retained Harsin for a second season, though he was by no means on solid ground. In August, athletic director Allen Greene, who was instrumental in hiring Harsin, announced that he was retiring from the program. With the Tigers having to hire a new AD, Harsin’s survival became even more difficult.

Auburn is in Employed AD John Cohen of the State of Mississippi taking on the same role after several reports.

Harsin did little to quell the mounting tension of Year 2. Auburn beat San Jose State by just eight points in Week 2, a win that preceded a crushing home loss Pennsylvania and a wild overtime win over Missouri on a walk-off touchback. The Tigers followed with back-to-back losses to LSU, Georgia, Ole Miss and Arkansas to send Harsin home.

A former quarterback at State of Boise, the 45-year-old Harsin came to Auburn after a successful run at his alma mater, where he went 69-19 and won three Mountain West titles. His stint at Boise came after a season as a coach State of Arkansas where he won 7-5 in 2013 and earned a share of the Sun Belt Championship.

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