Auburn announced today that athletic director Allen Greene’s last day of employment leading the athletics programs on the Plains would be August 31st.
Before the start of football season, and on the last Friday before games actually begin across the country, Auburn dumped a news dump of epic proportions.
Allen Greene was hired in 2018 with a pretty solid round of fundraising chops to his name when he came from Buffalo. He’d helped several schools with large capital campaigns, and had some large projects he was able to check off the list at those stops as well. He was instrumental in getting the football facility off the ground at Auburn, but the true matter of taking care of business on the Plains was a little above him at times.
Outside of it going down a week before football starts I don't see this as all that crazy or messy of a departure— AUNerd (@AUSportsNerd) August 26, 2022
Greene has been looking around & AU has a new president who likely wants his own dude anyway
Greene came on during Auburn’s first SEC title season under Bruce Pearl, after the fall in which we’d seen the Chuck Person arrest, suspensions on the basketball team, and the entire fiasco with Gus Malzahn’s contract extension thanks to president Steven Leath. However, Greene did throw his support behind Bruce, and that helped Auburn win two more SEC championships during his run as AD with Bruce running the hoops program. Basketball became just as big a draw as football, and Greene is partially to thank for that.
Unfortunately, what really will be remembered is the Gus Malzahn firing and subsequent coaching search. With the rumors (let’s be real... facts) that came out of the entire saga, it was clear that Greene needed to exercise more of a strong arm with his people, but also to figure out a way to get everyone on board. The tales of tribes of boosters rallying different candidates, internal or not, all behind larger and larger checkbooks, reeked of disfunction. Half the college football world thought we were likely to hire Kevin Steele, and the apparent coup from other members of the coaching staff had people gawking nationwide.
In the end, Greene hired Bryan Harsin way out of left field. There’s nothing wrong with going after a choice that none of the public saw coming, but there’s some truth to the statement that Auburn is a different job and you need someone who’s been around to be able to handle the thing. Now, Harsin did try to stock his staff with former SEC coaching retreads and some former Auburn stars (who’ve been the best hires he made or kept), but his entire approach to running the program has those same people who Greene glossed over uncomfortable. There are things one needs to know when they come here. It’s not something you can learn during an interview process, even one as rigorous as what I’m sure a prospective head football coach in the SEC has to undergo.
Allen Greene is a good dude and tried very hard to do a job he wasn’t hired to do, which was to make major decisions over athletics, as Dr. Leath clearly wanted that responsibility. Hope the best for him but this was never a good fit when the relationship with Leath went south. https://t.co/M5Zmp3RTq1— Josh Black (@JoshuaBBlack) August 26, 2022
Greene is a personable, vivacious guy, but coming from Buffalo and doing things your own way won’t cut it every time at Auburn. There’s too much thicket to clamber through.
Now, for the optics, sure, it’s not a great look. Auburn let go a young, black athletic director. And he certainly had his fans around the land, namely Kevin and Danny White, basically the Colquitt family of directing athletics.
Statement from former Duke AD Kevin White on Allen Greene's departure from Auburn, calling out "political dysfunction within Auburn" -- pic.twitter.com/DfkA6EOKGF— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) August 26, 2022
I’m sure you know that Kevin White was responsible for the George O’Leary hiring and gave Charlie Weis a 10-year contract extension at Notre Dame, and ended up at a school where hiring a football coach to win you five games a year made folks’ jaws drop. It’s hard not to look good when you have Coach K running your biggest sport on auto-pilot.
As far as the timeline on this, by the time toe meets leather next Saturday, nobody will be talking about Allen Greene. He was alright, but he wasn’t exactly out there making crazy decisions every year and getting his name in the media. It was a bad fit here when Auburn needed a wrangler and a shepherd.
As for two names that have been circulated already, Tim Jackson and Rich McGlynn are guys that have been rumored as candidates at this point. Tim Jackson is a guy that can pull the major players together and has sway within the athletic department. Plus, he’s got the old Pat Dye approval and has been around for a long time in many roles.
Rich McGlynn has been an extremely important figure in the athletic department as of late as well, with his ability as compliance director to navigate through the regular anal probes of the NCAA. We don’t have Bruce Pearl still without Rich.
I’m sure we’ll see other names pop up, but I’d be surprised if it’s not one of those two guys. There may be some candidate that pops up who has some wild ideas for NIL and dazzles the “search committee”, but what the guys above have done for Auburn is not unnoticed.
As for the news dump, it was hardly the biggest thing leaving the Plains this week.
First Allen Greene, then Cheeburger Cheeburger. Is anything in Auburn safe?— D.B. COOPER FOREVER (@LonelyTalegater) August 26, 2022
No, LT, no it’s not.