Auburn coach Bryan Harsin says he has no plans on leaving the school anytime soon.
Harsin’s future with the Tigers has been the subject of speculation this week as the school’s president Friday said it was “trying to separate fact from fiction” regarding rumors surrounding the football program. Harsin, who was hired after the 2020 season, told ESPN on Thursday night that there was “no Plan B” for him.
“I’m the Auburn coach, and that’s how I’m operating every day,” Harsin told ESPN in a lengthy interview late Thursday night. “I want this thing to work, and I’ve told our players and told everybody else there is no Plan B. I’m not planning on going anywhere. This was and is the job. That’s why I left the one I was in, to come here and make this place a championship program and leave it better than I found it.”
Friday morning, Auburn president Jay Gogue made the fact or fiction comment at a board of trustees meeting.
Auburn president Jay Gogue: “I just want you to know we’re involved in trying to separate fact from fiction. We’ll keep you posted and make the appropriate decision at the right time.”
— Tom Green (@Tomas_Verde) February 4, 2022
Over 20 Auburn players transferred after the 2021 season, and a source in that ESPN story mentioned the way that players were treated as a reason for the rash of departures. Harsin’s team went 6-7 in his first season after a 6-2 start. Auburn lost its final four games of the regular season and then lost 17-13 to Houston in the Birmingham Bowl.
The team is also on its second defensive coordinator of Harsin’s tenure and searching for a third offensive coordinator. Former Colorado State coach Mike Bobo was hired as Harsin’s offensive coordinator ahead of the 2021 season and was fired at the end of the season. He was replaced by Seattle Seahawks assistant coach Austin Davis, but Davis said earlier this week that he was stepping down from his new position with the Tigers for personal reasons.
Former Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason was hired as the Tigers defensive coordinator for 2021 and resigned in January to take the open defensive coordinator position at Oklahoma State. Linebackers coach Jeff Schmedding was named as Mason’s replacement.
Three-year starting quarterback Bo Nix is one of the players who transferred from Auburn this season. Nix suffered a season-ending ankle injury against Mississippi State and announced at the end of the year that he would be transferring. He went to Oregon.
Other players who have stayed at Auburn have voiced their support for Harsin, like tight end John Samuel Shenker.
I’ll go into a foxhole with guys who love each other and back up Coach Harsin! Also, if you reporters think this “publicity” is giving you credibility, you are more naive than I thought. Come out to a workout or practice and write about things you see instead of things you want
— John Samuel Shenker (@JsShenker) February 4, 2022
Harsin was at Boise State before he was hired to replace Gus Malzahn with the Tigers. The former Broncos and Arkansas State coach was 69-19 in seven seasons at Boise State and the Broncos never lost more than four games in a season when he was in charge.