Big 12 coaches leaving in a lurch

We're looking at coaches you love to hate this week, and today, it's all about the guys who left programs with a bad taste in its mouth.

Mike Leach and Mark Mangino certainly had contentious exits from Texas Tech and Kansas, but they're hardly hated by the schools they left behind. Dennis Franchione and Ron Prince simply didn't win enough and left programs frustrated, but far from angry.

In the Big 12, there's really only one coach that fits the bill.

Are you "All In" on making Gene Chizik the lone man on the list?

Chizik earned a reputation as one of the nation's best defensive coaches as the coordinator at Auburn first, and then moved to Texas under Mack Brown.

That earned him enough accolades for Iowa State to take notice, and the Cyclones hired him in November 2006 to take over for the legendary Dan McCarney. McCarney went to five bowl games in his final seven seasons, including a top 25 finish in 2000. That's unheard of in Ames.

Chizik? Well, it didn't go well.

He won three games in his first season, including two conference games and a win over Iowa, and improved the defense. The next season, though?

Nightmare. Iowa State began the year 2-0 and proceeded to lost its final 10 games, leaving Chizik with a 5-19 record in two seasons. Chizik fired two assistants and demoted his offensive and defensive coordinators, and looked like he was digging in his heels for the long haul.


Auburn fired Tommy Tuberville (now at Texas Tech) after the 2007 season and gave Chizik a call. He took it, and eventually took the job of replacing his former boss at his former stop in Alabama. Auburn caught lots of flack for hiring a coach with a 5-19 career record, but it has paid off.

Chizik made a struggling Iowa State program flounder even more, and making matters even more infuriating, Chizik won a national title at Auburn in 2010.

That seemed pretty hard to believe for the Cyclones, but it's not all bad at Iowa State. They've found a match made in heaven with Iowa native Paul Rhoads, another former defensive coordinator at Auburn. He's 18-20 in three seasons and put Iowa State in a bowl twice, winning once. That's a whole lot more than Chizik ever accomplished, and Rhoads signed a mammoth contract extension for 10 more years in December.