Auburn fired coach Bryan Harsin on Oct. 31 with four regular-season games remaining in Year 2, on The Plains. Harsin finishes with a 9-12 (4-9 SEC) record in less than two full seasons on the job after taking over for Gus Malzahn following the 2020 campaign.
Harsin will receive $15.3 million (70% of the remaining amount on his contract) for his buyout. Half of that is due within 30 days to be followed by followed by four annual payments of the remaining balance, according to 247Sports' Brandon Marcello. Auburn is still paying off Malzahn's buyout of $21.5 million as it embarks on yet .
In a saga that's best suited for a daytime soap opera rather than a football program, Harsin's first season ended with a five-game losing streak and a 6-7 final record that culminated with a loss to Houston in the Birmingham Bowl. The offseason included even more drama. Multiple coaches left the program, including defensive coordinator Derek Mason, who took the same role at Oklahoma State. More than 20 players transferred to other programs and traditional National Signing Day came and went without the Tigers signing a single additional player (17 signed during the Early Signing Period). Influential power brokers attempted to oust Harsin in early February, but the embattled coach was able to keep his job after hanging in limbo for several days.
Harsin brought a 76-24 career head coaching record to The Plains. He posted a 69-19 record in seven seasons at Boise State (2014 - 2020), won three Mountain West championships and three bowl games, including the Fiesta Bowl following the 2014 regular season. He was 7-5 as Arkansas State's head coach in 2013 and served as Texas' co-offensive coordinator in the two seasons prior to taking over the Red Wolves program. The two years in Austin and one year in Jonesboro were his only coaching experiences within the SEC footprint prior to Auburn.
Auburn fired Malzahn after he went 68-35 from 2013 - 2020. That stint included a berth in the 2014 BCS National Championship following the 2013 season, two SEC West titles and three BCS/New Year's Six bowl appearances.