After the wild offseason in Auburn that saw football coach Bryan Harsin come under fire and athletic director Allen Greene in the crosshairs, the school is moving on. According to the school, Auburn officials and Greene are ending their relationship early.
University President Dr. Christopher Roberts released a statement on Friday afternoon.
“Allen arrived on The Plains with vision, passion and experience to elevate Auburn Athletics to the next level,” Roberts said. “In the brief time that I have worked alongside Allen as President, he has proven to be an asset to Auburn, enhancing our athletics programs and facilities, and has been dedicated to our student-athletes, to integrity and to our University. We’re grateful for his commitment and contributions to Auburn over the past four and a half years and we wish Allen, Christy and their children all the best as they embark on a new chapter in their lives.”
Greene started his tenure at Auburn in 2018, after being hired away from Buffalo. But over the last few years, Greene’s relationship with the school has been strained. His contract was scheduled to end in January, and parting ways now benefits both sides. If Greene knew he wouldn’t be returning to Auburn past 2023, then why stick around and deal with the backlash of Bryan Harsin having a subpar year. This is the right move, but one that will most certainly effect Bryan Harsin.
In the release, Greene said this wasn’t an easy decision to step away.
“The decision to step away from Auburn Athletics is not an easy one, but it is the right time for me to begin the next step in my professional journey,” Greene said. “I am very proud of the work that we have done together to move our athletics program forward. Christy and I want to thank the Auburn Family for allowing us to be a part of something truly unique and I wish Auburn nothing but the best in the years ahead. I’m confident we leave Auburn Athletics stronger than when we arrived.”
Back in April, Greene conducted an interview with AL.com where he discussed his passion for Auburn and adding how much he loved the job.
“I love it here. My wife loves it here. My kids love it here,” Greene said. “When I got here four years ago, I remember telling a group of alumni that I’ve been an Auburn man my whole life. I just didn’t know until I got here.”
Bedsides the football program, Auburn saw tremendous success on the basketball court under Bruce Pearl, who Greene signed to an extension recently. But if things aren’t aligned inside the football offices, it only hurts the school going forward. Auburn is a different animal, with boosters crawling around the program trying to share their opinion on every matter pertaining to the athletic department.
You can bet every last penny in your bank account that these boosters will have further control over decisions regarding athletics, just like they planned with Harsin last February.
Now comes the tough decision for the Tigers athletic department. Bringing in a new AD will most certainly draw further attention to the football program. Bryan Harsin will almost certainly need a successful season on the Plains if he plans on keeping his job.
The school also announced that COO Marcy Girton will serve as interim AD, while a national search begins.
The new AD usually likes to his their own coach, so we’ll see on this plays out in Auburn.