Auburn fires football coach Bryan Harsin after less than two seasons
After less than two tumultuous seasons maroon fired football coach Bryan Harsin on Monday.
The decision comes just before the school was due to appoint a new athletic director in John Cohen, the former Mississippi State AD, a source told ESPN’s Pete Thamel.
Harsin’s release comes less than 48 hours after the Tigers lost by two touchdowns at home to Arkansas.
The team fell to 3-5 and is in danger of missing a bowl game for the first time since 2012.
Harsin’s tenure at Auburn ends with a 9-12 record.
“Auburn University has decided to change the leadership of the Auburn University football program,” the school said in a statement. “President [Christopher] Roberts made the decision after a thorough review and evaluation of all aspects of the football program. Auburn will immediately begin searching for a coach to return the Auburn program to a place where it consistently competes at the highest level and represents the winning tradition of Auburn football.”
Under the terms of his contract, Harsin is owed $15.5 million in buyout funds, with 50 percent ($7.75 million) paid within 30 days and the remaining 50 percent ($7.75) paid in four installments are due.
Two years ago, the school decided to pay a $21.7 million buyout to fire Gus Malzahn, who had gone 68-34 in eight seasons.
Auburn was just coming off a 6-7 season when Harsin’s status faltered last February after the university opened an investigation into his handling of the program.
The request came after a number of players and coaches left during the off-season.
Auburn eventually acquitted Harsin, who later described it as a “personal attack” that he said “didn’t work.”
Auburn opened the season with back-to-back wins over Mercer and San Jose State but has since gone 1-5.
Harsin, 45, joined Auburn on a six-year, $31.5 million contract after seven seasons as the head coach at Boise State.
His record as head coach, including a season at Arkansas State, is 85-36.
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