Former Auburn Tigers head coach Gene Chizik will make his return to the coaching profession this season after being hired by the North Carolina Tar Heels as defensive coordinator.
Head coach Larry Fedora announced the decision to bring Chizik aboard Monday.
“Throughout the hiring process, I worked closely with athletic director Bubba Cunningham to invest in someone who believes in the mission of the University and shares our vision of providing an outstanding experience to the student-athletes,” said Fedora. “Gene Chizik believes in competing at the highest level both on and off the field and is another highly regarded leader for our program.”
During his tenure at Auburn, Chizik accumulated a career record of 33-19. His perfect 2011 season was the highlight of his time with the Tigers. The following season, Chizik was fired from the program after going 3-9 and winless in the SEC.
Nonetheless, Chizik is an essential find for coach Fedora and should be a major boost to both the defense and the recruiting game. Anyway you slice it, the guy’s got a ring; that experience is an asset team’s can not get enough of.
“I’m thrilled to join Coach Fedora’s staff and I appreciate the trust he and athletic director Bubba Cunningham have in me,” said Chizik. “It is a tremendous opportunity to coach at one of the most prestigious Universities in the country and live in Chapel Hill. I’m committed to the student-athlete experience they expect at Carolina, and look forward to developing our players into the best they can be in all areas of their lives.”
In 2014, the Tar Heels finished 6-7 ending their season with a brutal 40-21 loss to the Rutgers Scarlett Knights in the Quick Lane Bowl. Former defensive coordinator Vic Koenig was fired following the year, and Chizik will have the difficult task of improving the 119th best defense in the country. Still, if anyone’s capable of reviving the unit, its a championship caliber coach like Chizik.
*Section Photo credit to Jamie Squire, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Sports Illustrated