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Early Looks Inside Chizik’s Book

The advanced copies of Gene Chizik’s new book — “All In: What it Takes to Be the Best” — have been mailed out and reviewers are starting to share the details.

The Opelika-Auburn News reveals the following:


* There is an emphasis on Chizik’s Christian faith in the book.  He writes that his father “defined who I am as a coach.”

* The coach writes that he knew his team could win the national crown after a last-second win at Kentucky.  “I firmly believed we had a chance to go undefeated the rest of the way and win the national championship.  When I said that to our coaches, I think every one of them nodded in agreement.”

* When he interviewed for the AU coaching job — fresh off back surgery — he thought he would never land the job and felt guilty just for talking with Auburn.  “Despite my dream of coaching at Auburn one day, when I heard that Tommy (Tuberville) had stepped down, the thought of going back didn’t last any longer than the snap of a finger.  I knew that with a 5-19 record (at Iowa State) I was not hirable at Auburn.”  He also writes: “As Jonna drove me to the hotel where I’d be interviewing, I could stop thinking about the people back at Iowa State.  I had pledged to help turn the program around, and we were doing that.  But now I was facing the possibility, as remote as it still appeared that I might have to go back to Ames to tell all those people I was leaving.  I don’t know what it’s like to cheat on a spouse, but on the ride over, I imagined the feeling had to be similar to what I was experiencing at that moment.  I felt awful, and it wasn’t just my back.”

* Chizik called AD Jay Jacobs after the interview — feeling it had gone badly — to withdraw his name from consideration.  Instead, Jacobs soon offered him the job.

* The title-winning coach also writes: “I feel like the same guy who was coaching defensive ends at Middle Tennessee State twenty years ago, and I am humbled that God has placed me in a position I really don’t deserve to be in.”

* All proceeds from the book will got to a ministry the coach and his wife have set up to help certain nonprofit organizations in the state of Alabama.


The Associated Press also got an advance copy and they report the following:


* Of his Auburn hiring Chizik writes: “Make no mistake, I was humbled by Auburn’s decision.  And I knew this had to be a God appointment because this whole thing just didn’t make sense otherwise.  I knew God had to be behind opening this door — there was no other way it would have been opened.”

* The coach also leveled some criticism at Iowa State AD Jamie Pollard for allowing the coach’s departure from Ames to turn nasty.  “Jamie is a quality athletic director, and I respect him for what he has done at Iowa State.  But I wish he had handled my departure differently.  It could have, and should have, gone so much better for all involved.”

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