Following the 2012 season, Auburn fired coach Gene Chizik, who then took two seasons off before returning to college football as the defensive coordinator at North Carolina.
However, following the 2016 season, he stepped down from the position, opting to spend more time with his family — a decision it sounds like he’s really enjoying so far.
In a thoughtful letter Chizik penned for USA TODAY, he said he feels he did the right thing and has learned a lot during his time away from the game:
“I wake up every morning unburdened by the stress so many working dads feel, whether they coach, manage a business or work in a factory,” Chizik wrote. “Getting some relief from the grind has given me two priceless gifts — quality time with my kids and perspective on life.
“It has been an amazing blessing to be able to do things that were not possible for so many years. Until this spring, I had only seen two of my son’s baseball games in two years. I was not present when my daughters moved into their freshmen dorms at Auburn, a great place we still call home.”
As Chizik’s children make their way through the final stages of their education, it sounds like the former coach may eventually decide to make his return to the college football scene.
But, for now, he’s making sure to enjoy the moments he has with his kids before they’re off on their own.