SEC Media Days 2022: Auburn’s Brian Harsin is adamant after coup attempt and focused on positives ahead of year two


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ATLANTA. Nearly six months after he experienced an internal upheaval against his work, Brian Harsin stood on the main stage of the SEC Media Days in the College Football Hall of Fame. Confident and open-minded, the Auburn sophomore coach remained firm in his vision for the program—an impressive feat considering he could just as easily have made it to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“There was an investigation. It was uncomfortable. It was unfounded,” said Harsin. “It gave people the opportunity to attack me and my family, as well as my program. It didn’t work.”

Harsin’s off-season plight was comparable to a daytime soap opera. His Tigers went 6–7 and lost their last five games of 2021. Then Harsin lost both of his veteran SEC coordinators who left—one by choice and one by a side move—and a small village of players transferred from the program. In addition, the recruiting effort leading up to the traditional National Signing Day fell short of what Auburn expected during its rise to the SEC dispute.

Then there was a bomb the size of Jordan-Hare Stadium.

On February 3, Auburn Live reported that several senior officials were actively looking for ways to fire Harsin “on a case.” This began a frenetic eight-day saga that culminated in the announcement that Harsin would remain the Tigers’ coach.

It was a situation that was unique to Auburn – “It’s just that Auburn was a redhead” (JABA). as it is known in southern football circles. The program has been known for decades as a program that has too many chefs in the kitchen. The most notorious example came in 2003, Iron Bowl week against Alabama, when former athletic director David Housel and several influential supporters flew to Louisville to gauge then-Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino’s interest in Auburn’s head coaching job. still occupied by Tommy Tuberville at the time.

The question that swirled around the SEC Media Days on Thursday was simple: what’s next? Harsin is comfortable… at least for now… with the way he treats those in power.

“Now our focus is on moving forward,” Harsin said. “There were a lot of positives as a result of this investigation. There is a positive side to all this, because what I saw from our players and our coaches was an opportunity for them to become leaders. That is exactly what they did. You have a chance to see how the guys provide the lead and the coaches provide the lead. It brought our football team together. It brought our players together. It brought our staff and our football team together. I’m really proud of our guys. I’m proud of something like this, which can be very challenging and difficult for a lot of people, the way our guys approached and handled it.”

Tight end John Samuel Schenker, who supported Harsin on social media, echoed those sentiments.

“I’m a Brian Harsin fan through and through,” Schenker said. “You also know, knowing his character and the person that he is and the father that he is the husband that he is, they are just there to brew the pot. It has been blown up by social media. , even [defensive lineman] Derik [Hall], me and some of the other guys on the team thought it would be better. This experience with him brought us closer together as a team. I thought it might be a problem and the separation of the guys, but it really brought us closer. We are all striving for one thing: to keep our coach here.”

But how long will this “peace” last? CBS Sports Senior Writer Dennis Dodd placed Harsin in one of the hottest places in america earlier this month. The schedule does not suggest that it will move from the said hot spot, unless the Tigers organize a massive annual renovation.

Auburn will face both Georgia and Alabama of last year’s national title game on the road. The Tigers also face Ole Miss on the road the week after the game in Georgia and host Penn State at home in the third week.

For now, Harsin met with people who were trying to force him out in the middle. This is the first step. The second, however, will be the biggest challenge of his career: winning the SEC.

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