Syndication: The Montgomery Advertiser

Auburn athletic director Allen Greene will step away from his position just prior to the start of the 2022 football season, the university announced Friday. Greene will conclude his four-and-a-half-year tenure on The Plains on Aug. 31, three days before the Tigers play their Week 1 game against Mercer on Sept. 3. 

"The decision to step away from Auburn Athletics is not an easy one, but it is the right time for me to begin the next step in my professional journey," said Greene in a statement. "I am very proud of the work that we have done together to move our athletics program forward. Christy and I want to thank the Auburn Family for allowing us to be part of something truly unique and I wish Auburn nothing but the best in the years ahead. I'm confident we leave Auburn Athletics stronger than when we arrived."

The parting of ways concludes a tumultuous offseason for Greene on The Plains, with tension building after football coach Bryan Harsin was nearly ousted in February following a 6-7 debut season that resulted in a mass exodus of players and personnel. Harsin endured a week-long purgatory, during which time university power brokers weighed his future. However, Greene's absence and silence during the drama proved to be a sign of irreparable damage between the AD and the school. While Harsin ultimately kept his job, the man who hired him is now out five months before the end of his contract, which was set to expire at year's end. 

"Allen arrived on The Plains with vision, passion and experience to elevate Auburn athletics to the next level," said university president Christopher Roberts in a statement. "In the brief time that I have worked alongside Allen as President, he has proven to be an asset to Auburn, enhancing our athletics programs and facilities, and has been dedicated to our student-athletes, to integrity and to our university. We're grateful for his commitment and contributions to Auburn over the past four and a half years and we wish Allen, Christy and their children all the best as they embark on a new chapter in their lives."

Greene was hired from Buffalo by former president Steven Leath in 2018, one year before Leath's resignation. Greene then played a role in the decision to let go of former football coach Gus Malzahn, and a bizarre coaching search led Greene to hire Harsin -- who was an outsider to the SEC. 

Auburn CEO Marcy Girton will serve as the interim athletic director while a permanent successor to Greene can be identified. Girton has been at Auburn since 2016 after stints as the deputy athletic director at Texas A&M, chief of staff at South Carolina, associate athletic director at TCU and associate athletic director at Western Carolina.