Bryan Harsin Responds to Criticisms Over Recent Issues at Auburn
Over the past few days, especially the last 24 hours, Auburn football coach Bryan Harsin has been the target of some harsh criticisms and even calls for him to be fired.
Ever since Auburn started with a 6-2 record last season the program has only went downhill since then, finishing the season 6-7, including tough losses to Iron Bowl rival Alabama in a 4OT thriller after having a 10 point lead in the fourth quarter and losing to Houston in the Birmingham Bowl. The offseason has been just as cruel to the football program so far, resulting in 20 players and five assistant coaches not returning to the university. However, Harsin is still confident in his job security and that he will turn the program around.
"I'm the Auburn coach, and that's how I'm operating every day," said Harsin, who spoke with ESPN senior writer Chris Low Thursday night. "I want this thing to work, and I've told our players and told everybody else there is no Plan B. I'm not planning on going anywhere. This was and is the job. That's why I left the one I was in, to come here and make this place a championship program and leave it better than I found it."
Harsin attempted to make moves to change the direction of the program after the 2021 season ended by firing offensive coordinator Mike Bobo and hiring former Seattle Seahawks QB coach Austin Davis to fill the position. This backfired as Davis stepped down from the position earlier this week, only about six weeks after he was hired, due to personal reasons. Auburn's defensive coordinator Derek Mason has also stepped down in the offseason and is joining Oklahoma State's staff in the same position. Notable player's for the Tigers have also decided to transfer from the program after a year under Harsin, such as three-year starting QB Bo Nix, running back Shaun Shivers, and leading receiver Kobe Hudson.
Another transfer player, Lee Hunter, took to social media Friday to comment his opinions on Harsin as the rumors of the coach's job security becoming uncertain have ramped up in the last 24 hours. "Coach Harsin has the true mindset for a winner but has a terrible mindset as a person."
Harsin, however, thinks differently of himself than Hunter or anyone else criticizing his character does. "Any attack on my character is bullshit," Harsin said. "None of that is who I am."
Through the rumors and the critics, the Auburn coach still does have supporters, in the form of fans and players who have taken to social media to defend him as a person and as a coach, including linebacker Derick Hall.
Harsin has five years remaining on his contract at Auburn. If university officials do decide to fire Harsin and they do not have cause to do so, they'll have to buy out the rest of his contract, which will cost $18.3 million.
Harsin seems to understand the pressure mounting against him as he's hoping to remain with the program.
"This is where I want to be. This is what I want to do," Harsin said. "Certainly, I'm the right man for the job. There's no doubt about it."
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