AMES, Iowa — Auburn has hired Iowa State's Gene Chizik as its football coach, turning to a former defensive coordinator who helped the Tigers forge a 13-0 season in 2004 but has won five games in two years as a head coach.
Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard said that Chizik told him Saturday that he was accepting the job at Auburn.
"I'm disappointed for our Iowa State fans and student-athletes that he has chosen to leave … after only two seasons," Pollard said. "I understand that it is a dream job for him, but the timing and the way it played out has been hurtful and disappointing."
Chizik, 46, will succeed Tommy Tuberville, who resigned after 10 seasons with an 85-40 record.
Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs would not confirm the hiring after it was reported by numerous media outlets.
Chizik, expected to be introduced Monday as coach, went 5-19 in two seasons at Iowa State after successful stints running defenses at Auburn and Texas.
Chizik, a former Clearwater High star, played linebacker at Florida in 1981 and was an assistant at Seminole High in 1986-87.
USF: Reserve lineman has broken finger
TAMPA — Sophomore offensive lineman Jake Sims, USF's top reserve lineman, broke a finger on his right hand during practice Thursday.
Sims started when guard Zach Hermann missed six games with a broken foot and could start next season. Despite the injury, coach Jim Leavitt said he thought Sims could play if needed in the St. Petersburg Bowl against Memphis on Saturday.
In contention? Offensive coordinator Greg Gregory has been mentioned as a potential candidate for the coaching vacancy at Army, where he worked from 1982-97, including nine seasons as offensive coordinator. Gregory was one of six assistants identified by the Times Herald-Record of New York as possible candidates to replace the fired Stan Brock.
FSU: Piurowski among players given honors
Several former area standouts were among those honored at FSU's annual banquet.
Junior tight end Caz Piurowski (Land O'Lakes) was the most improved on offense and one of two players to earn the Seminole Warrior Award.
Senior quarterback Drew Weatherford (Land O'Lakes) was one of two players to earn the Bill McGrotha Spirit Humanitarian Award. And former Hernando star Rod Roberts, a walk-on safety, was given the Don Powell Unsung Hero Award.
Injuries: Receivers Preston Parker (sprained ankle) and Rod Owens, Taiwan Easterling and Avis Commack (pulled muscles) were limited in practice, but coach Bobby Bowden was hopeful they would be healthy for the Champs Bowl against Wisconsin on Dec. 27.
Missouri: Dave Yost, a longtime offensive assistant, will be offensive coordinator next season. He replaces Dave Christensen, who was hired as Wyoming's coach but will stay until after the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29.
South Carolina: The team began workouts for the Outback Bowl in Tampa, where it faces Iowa on Jan. 1. Former Jefferson High quarterback Stephen Garcia says the team is ready to move on after tough recent losses: "Everybody's just ready to play and go out with a victory, and go into next year pretty motivated."
SWAC title: Greg Dillon threw for three touchdowns and rushed for one as Grambling State (11-2, 7-0) defeated Jackson State (7-5, 6-1) 41-9 for the Southwestern Athletic Conference title in Birmingham, Ala.
Division I-AA: Eric Ward threw a 13-yard touchdown to Joe Stewart with 14 seconds left to give Richmond (12-3) a 21-20 win over Northern Iowa (12-3) in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The Spiders face Montana for the title Friday.
Division II: Ted Schlafke threw two touchdowns to lead Minnesota-Duluth (15-0) to its first title with a 21-14 win over Northwest Missouri State (13-2) in Florence, Ala. The Bearcats lost in the championship game for the fourth straight season.
Division III: Nate Kmic gained 310 yards and scored three touchdowns to become college football's career rushing leader and lift host Mount Union to a 45-24 semifinal win over Wheaton. Kmic has 7,986 career yards, 24 more than the mark set by Danny Woodhead of Chadron State from 2004-07. Top-ranked Mount Union (14-0) faces No. 4 Wisconsin-Whitewater (13-1) for the title Saturday.
Times staff writer Greg Auman and Times correspondent Ira Schoffel contributed to this report.