AUBURN, Ala (EETV) - Bryan Harsin has been fired as Auburn University Head Football Coach effective immediately, per a release from the University.
“Auburn University has decided to make a change in the leadership of the Auburn University football program. President Roberts made the decision after a thorough review and evaluation of all aspects of the football program. Auburn will begin an immediate search for a coach that will return the Auburn program to a place where it is consistently competing at the highest levels and representing the winning tradition that is Auburn football.”
The Harsin era at Auburn was short lived.
Beyond the results of his team on the field, during Harsin’s tenure, Auburn has seen numerous players and staff leave the program, along with a lack of effective recruiting.
In his first season with the team, the Harsin-led Tigers finished with a 6-7 record. This was the program’s worst finish since 2012, when Auburn finished 3-9 and fired 2010 National Championship Head Coach Gene Chizik upon the conclusion of the season. Auburn ended the 2021 season on a five-game losing skid.
After the Iron Bowl loss at home, Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo was fired by Harsin. He was replaced by Austin Davis, who then left 43 days after his hire due to personal reasons.
During the offseason, more coaches and players left too. Former Vanderbilt Head Coach and Auburn Defensive Coordinator Derek Mason departed for Oklahoma State, and Defensive Line Coach Nick Eason left for Clemson. Most notably, Bo Nix, Auburn legacy and three-year starting Quarterback, declared that he was entering the transfer portal, ultimately choosing to play at Oregon. By March 2022, 19 players and eight coaches had departed from the school since Harsin was hired.
Additionally, in Harsin’s whirlwind of an offseason, rumors of a negative culture in the program surfaced, causing a social media uproar from former and current players.
Harsin’s response to the investigation was simple, “I'm the Auburn coach, and that's how I'm operating every day.”
After press releases from former athletic director Allen Greene and former Auburn President Jay Gogue were announced, the investigation around the Harsin situation was silenced, and Harsin would remain as the Head Coach. Along with the considerable number of coaches and players that departed, both Greene and Gogue left Auburn in the last year, as well.
Year Two on the playing field for Harsin and his team has been far from smooth sailing. The Tigers struggled in Week Two against San Jose State, and after that, suffered a 42-12 beatdown from Penn State, then narrowly squeaked by Missouri in an extremely close, overtime game.
During that time, talks began about the uncertainty of Harsin’s job.
The tension in the program didn’t elicit any drastic changes for Harsin’s system. Auburn lost at home against LSU 21-17, a game in which Auburn led 17-0, followed by a lopsided defeat against No. 1 Georgia in Athens, 42-10. Back-to-back losses at Mississippi and at home against Arkansas ended up being Harsin’s final games with the program.
Harsin will end his Auburn career with a 9-12 overall record and 3-10 record in SEC play.
Per the terms of his contract with Auburn, Harsin will be owed $15.5 million in buyout money with 50 percent ($7.75 million) due within 30 days. The remaining 50 percent ($7.75) will be paid to Harsin in four installments. Also notable, two years ago, Auburn fired Gus Malzhan, who had a 68-34 record in eight seasons at the University, and chose to pay a $21.7 million buyout.
An interim head coach has not been immediately named, per the press release from Auburn.