After less than two turbulent seasons, Auburn fired football coach Bryan Harsin on Monday.
The decision comes just before the school was expected to name a new athletic director in John Cohen, the former Mississippi State AD, a source told ESPN’s Pete Thamel.
Harsin’s firing comes less than 48 hours after the Tigers lost to Arkansas at home by two touchdowns.
The team dropped to 3-5 and is in danger of missing out on a bowl game for the first time since 2012.
Harsin’s tenure at Auburn ends with a 9-12 record.
“Auburn University has decided to make a change in the leadership of the Auburn University football program,” the school said in a statement. “President [Christopher] Roberts made the decision after a thorough review and evaluation of all aspects of the football program. Auburn will begin an immediate search for a coach that will return the Auburn program to a place where it is consistently competing at the highest levels and representing the winning tradition that is Auburn football.”
Per terms of his contract, Harsin will be owed $15.5 million in buyout money with 50 percent ($7.75 million) due within 30 days and the remaining 50 percent ($7.75) in four installments.
Two years ago, the school decided to pay a $21.7 million buyout in order to fire Gus Malzahn, who had gone 68-34 in eight seasons.
Auburn was coming off a 6-7 season when Harsin’s status was thrown in limbo this past February after the university launched an investigation into his handling of the program.
The inquiry came after a number of players and coaches left during the offseason.
Auburn ultimately cleared Harsin, who later called it a “personal attack” that he said “didn’t work.”
Auburn opened the season with two straight wins, over Mercer and San Jose State, but has gone 1-5 since.
Harsin, 45, came to Auburn on a six-year, $31.5 million deal after seven seasons as head coach at Boise State.
His record as a head coach, including one season at Arkansas State, is 85-36.