Gene Chizik is a National Championship-winning head coach and, by all accounts, a fantastic college defensive coordinator. However, the former head man at Auburn and DC at North Carolina (among others) has made the call to step away from coaching after a lengthy and impressive career.
“The guys that I’m closest with have called or texted me and said, ‘I can’t wait until I’m in the position to make the same decision.’… I try to tell people all the time: There’s a huge distinction between who you are and what you do. I spoke to the team in a team meeting the other night and I wanted to address them and tell them why I was not going to be at North Carolina next year and I said, ‘Guys, I want you to understand this about me, you’ve been around me for two years and you probably have figured it out, but coaching football is what I do, it’s not who I am.’ I said, I’m a husband and a father. Look, there’s nobody out there that’s going to be more competitive, there’s nobody in this profession where football is more important to them than it is to me. There was nobody that wanted to be better at what they did than me. There were people that wanted to be as good, but there was nobody better. But at some point you draw the line between what you do and who you are. And I know who I am.’”
Chizik also indicates that he has been away from his family since leaving Auburn in 2012, as he indicated to them that they would not have to move again when he took the job as the head coach for the Tigers. His message is extremely family-focused, including the tidbit of advice to other coaches that “When you’ve got three hours off, don’t go play golf. Go be with your kids.”
Gene Chizik enjoyed a tremendous amount of success, banked a lot of money and, now, feels it is time to walk away. There is nothing wrong with that and, if anything, he should be commended for it.