The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Gene Chizik: All In

By Shawn Brown
The 700 Club -Auburn University head coach Gene Chizik led his Tigers to a 14-0 record last season, winning 2011 BCS National Championship. His quarterback Cam Newton, won the Heisman Trophy bringing it back to Auburn for the first time since 1985.

Shawn: How sweet is it that you’re a BCS Champion? Has it sunk in yet?

Gene: You know, I don’t know that it has. I don’t know that, that it truly sinks in fully maybe till you are done, with your career and maybe look back on it.

Gene Chizik had been an assistant coach for over 13 years. He made two more stops as an assistant, one at Auburn University and another at the University of Texas, two college football powerhouses.

Then in 2008, coach Chizik was offered his first head coaching job at Iowa State University.  Many critics questioned why a coach with his credentials would accept to go to a school that didn’t have a winning football tradition.   

Shawn: What was the expectation?

Gene: The expectation that I had for us going there was for us to build a championship football team.

But in two seasons, a frustrated Coach Chizik had only lead his team to a 5-19 record.

Shawn: How did your faith help you get through that?

Gene: Oh, it was, that was the only way that we got through that. Because again, you get selfish and you get a little bit spoiled with winning. And so when you don’t, uh, you know, in my perfect weakness, that’s when he shows his perfect strength.

The next season, Coach Chizik was offered the head coaching job at Auburn. In the 2009 season Coach Chizik led the Tigers to an 8-5 record. But next season, he heard of a junior quarterback at Binn College that could help “turn the tide” in the sec. His name was Cam Newton.

Gene: The first day we’re allowed to go out and recruit, I got straight to his home. We basically lay down what we think we can provide for Cameron, and we’re getting ready to leave, and before we get ready to leave he says, ‘you know what coach, before we all leave right here, how about if we get a prayer.’ And we all stood around in a circle and he said a prayer. He said, ‘I want to pray over this before you guys leave.’ And that struck me because in my twenty plus years of doing this recruiting stuff, that’s never happened.

The rest is history. Coach Gene Chizik and the Auburn Tigers became the 2010 National Champions. Chizik is in his 3rd season with Auburn and though Cam Newton is in the NFL now, it is still business as usual. He recently released a book entitled, All In, where he shares his story and hopes to inspire readers to overcome their own struggles, just like his 5-19 record.

Gene: Everybody has their own version of 5-19, everybody in their life. And that can be a loss of a job, it might be your 5-19. The loss of a loved one could be your 5-19. God is bigger than 5-19, so don’t ever doubt that, because you can get through it.

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