Because of the outspoken nature of former Auburn football HC Gene Chizik, flack will always follow when his name is in the news.
Truthfully, UNC needed to do something about the state of their defense–which only looked competitive against Group of Five school Georgia State, Wofford of the FCS, and Duke this past season–and by bringing in a proven commodity, they provided the potentially necessary spark.
The talent is there for the Tar Heels, with six recruits with a minimum of four stars on the way in 2022 and with Mack brown planning to be active in the transfer portal. He’s called the process a challenge, but he just added a proven recruiter in Chizik to be his Assistant Head Coach for Defense.
Twitter had wildly varying opinions on the hire:
Gene Chizik turned a complete laughingstock of a defense — those 70 points at ECU! — into one capable of winning a Coastal Division championship in one season. A different UNC coach counting on him to do exactly that again.
— Luke DeCock (@LukeDeCock) January 8, 2022
Safe but solid hire, you know he has a good defensive mind and with the talent on campus it’s win now. pic.twitter.com/0mGKpq5jhG
— Jarrod (@jhardy575) January 8, 2022
I wish Gene Chizik nothing but unmitigated failure. From the bottom of my heart.
— Andre Hollings (@ahollings1) January 8, 2022
Gene Chizik coming back to Chapel Hill? Definitely not my first choice, so we’ll see.
— Andrew Forrest (@Andrew_Forrest1) January 8, 2022
This hire shuts down any rumored momentum towards Chizik coaching the Birmingham Stallions of the USFL.
While it would have been nice to see the 2011 BCS National Championship Auburn football HC return to coaching in the state of Alabama, this could be a far more rewarding career move.