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Chizik pinpoints the #1 key to Auburn turnaround

Gene Chizik’s new book “All In: What it Takes to be the Best” hits bookstores today.

Chizik discussed the book on Fox News Talk Radio this morning and made it clear the book is a message of hope and encouragement. The book talks a lot about team building and Chizik says that you do not have to be a football fan to like this book.

Reflecting back on his experience at Iowa State, Chizik explained, “I was literally driving along in my car one day and it was negative temperatures on my gage and went it hit 1 degree, I was like, ‘Yes. This is great. Then I thought about it and I was like this is messed up.’”

“We really connected to the people in Iowa. They are down home, hard working, live off the land guys. That really resonated with my family and myself and we just really embraced that.”

“I felt like everything was on track. We need that it would take time. There was no question in my mind the players were buying in to what we are trying to do. Never did I doubt that we would be able to get it on track. It was going to take time, but I was willing to take that time.”

On getting the Auburn job, Chizik said, “I didn’t think with a 5-19 record, it was feasible.” He admitted the first 48 hours were the toughest of his life because he knew he wouldn’t be able to bring all the Iowa State assistants to Auburn and he essentially had to start all over again.

Despite the 5-19 record, Chizik said he had absolutely no doubt in his mind that he was the right guy for the job. He even told himself out loud, “You are the right guy for the job.”

So how did you get it turned around at Auburn?

Without hesitation, Chizik explained, “Everything is about relationships. We put a high premium on being able to get our team together. I wanted them (the players) around us when they didn’t have to be.”

“We had bowling nights, fishing tournaments, Halloween costume nights.”

Chizik said the team building exercises brought about a sense of trust within everyone in the program.