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Gene Chizik By The Numbers

Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Early Thursday evening multiple reports indicated former Auburn head coach Gene Chizik had accepted an offer to become UNC's defensive coordinator. This hire, once made official, gives UNC a much needed boost after historically awful season on that side of the ball. Here is what the numbers say Chizik brings to the table.

Prior to taking his first college head coaching job at Iowa State in 2007, Chizik was a defensive coordinator at Central Florida(1998-2001), Auburn(2002-2004) and co-DC at Texas(2005-06). The NCAA web site only has stats starting in 2000.

Team defense stats with Chizik as defensive coordinator.

Season Team Rush YPG Rank Pass YPG Rank Total YPG Rank PPG Rank
2000 UCF 130.9 37th 192.1 23rd 323.8 28th 20.1 32nd
2001 UCF 129.4 37th 178.0 15th 307.3 16th 18.5 13th
2002 Auburn 141.7 46th 186.4 26th 328.1 26th 17.8 13th
2003 Auburn 92.6 7th 189.0 23rd 281.6 5th 16.3 9th
2004 Auburn 104.2 12th 173.4 10th 277.6 5th 11.3 1st
2005* Texas 130.9 33rd 172.0 8th 302.9 10th 16.4 8th
2006 Texas 61.2 3rd 236.2 99th 297.3 22nd 18.3 26th

*Won BCS title

Based on the available data, defenses for which Chizik was the coordinator all performed extremely well. The only troublesome number is the pass defense in 2006 at Texas when the Longhorns were 99th giving up 236.2 yards per game. All but one of the seven defenses listed here gave up 20 or fewer points per game and that was Chizik's 2000 UCF team which gave up 20.1 Across the board Chizik's defenses have always been very good when he was the man in charge of them. When Chizik was the head coach is a different story.

Team defense stats with Chizik as head coach

Season Team Rush YPG Rank Pass YPG Rank Total YPG Rank PPG Rank
2007 Iowa State 136.1 44th 254.2 91st 390.3 65th 31.8 93rd
2008 Iowa State 174.6 94th 276.7 117th 451.3 111th 35.8 111th
2009 Auburn 156.4 78th 218.0 58th 374.4 68th 27.5 76th
2010* Auburn 109.7 9th 259.3 108th 368.4 60th 24.1 53rd
2011 Auburn 189.2 94th 218.8 51st 408.0 80th 28.9 78th
2012 Auburn 197.5 100th 222.9 48th 420.5 81st 28.3 65th

*Won BCS title

With Chizik as the head coach the numbers are not nearly as impressive which really shouldn't matter. Chizik's two stints as a head coach were mostly a mixed bag save for one magical season, the 2010 run to a BCS title. Since Chizik is being hired as the defensive coordinator and not the head coach, these numbers should not be much cause for concern.

With Chizik's previous experience as a head coach, two BCS title rings and his credibility as a defensive coordinator it stands to reason he is not taking this job unless he has full control of the defense. Larry Fedora is likely well aware this is something he simply needs to turn over to a coach with Chizik's bona fides and let him mold both the staff and the defense as he see fits. That could mean additional staff changes are forthcoming.