Auburn Has Fired Bryan Harsin, Will Owe Him Over $15 Million To Leave

The Bryan Harsin era in Auburn has officially come to an end.

Monday afternoon, the school officially announced that they were parting ways with the head coach. After a dreadful 2022 season, and then the off-season problems and investigation, President Christopher Roberts has made the final decision.

“Auburn University has decided to make a change in the leadership of the Auburn University football program. President Roberts made the decision after a thorough review and evaluation of all aspects of the football program. Auburn will begin an immediate search for a coach that will return the Auburn program to a place where it is consistently competing at the highest levels and representing the winning tradition that is Auburn football.”

UPDATE: Auburn has named former running back and current RB coach Carnell ‘Cadillac’ Williams as the interim head coach per On3’s Justin Hokansan.

The Money Owed To Harsin, Including Other Buyouts

Now Auburn will be paying him around $15.9 Million to go away, with 50% due within thirty days. Yes, boosters will pay Harsin $7.75 Million over the next month, with the rest due in multiple installments.

After firing Gus Malzahn, Auburn will have now paid around $37 Million to its past two coaches, which is absolutely staggering. So, with the firing of this staff and bringing in a new head coach, this figure will only rise. It would not shock me to see this number over $60 Million by the time John Cohen hires the next head coach.

Also, Auburn did pay Kevin Steele $5 Million to buyout his contract, when the school hired Bryan Harsin. So technically this would bring the total to just over $41 Million to coaches, not including staff members in the past three years.

Bryan Harsin Had A Rocky Ride

Not even two years with the program, Auburn has struggled on and off the field. The ending to 2021 included a five-game losing streak, followed by the myriad of problems in 2022. Losses continued to pile-up for Bryan Harsin, including this past weekend against Arkansas. Many thought the decision would’ve been made earlier in the season, but the Tigers decided to officially hire an athletic director first.

This relationship was never going to workout for either side, with boosters looking to oust him after one season. When Allen Greene decided to hire an outside the box type coach, the money folks on the plains were less than pleased. Now, they finally got their way.

After former athletic director Allen Greene resigned his position, it was clear that Harsin would not make it at Auburn. There wasn’t a time during his almost two seasons on the plains where he felt comfortable with the current landscape. After the investigation into the program following the 2021 season, there wasn’t much that could’ve been done to save Harsin’s job after this season, besides winning ten games.

What Auburn should’ve done is pay Harsin his buyout after the order went down, but decided it was too expensive at the time.

Now the Tigers must figure out what’s next when it comes to a head coach. The hiring of former Mississippi State AD John Cohen will help the process, as they made that official on Monday. This was a swift move for the school, getting the new athletic director in-place, then firing Harsin.

To tell you how fast things had moved in the past 24 hours, Harsin was still scheduled to speak at a previously set press conference.

Now the Tigers have a coaching search on their hands.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.

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