You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Sports

Notes: N.C. State fires Tom O’Brien

It wasn’t a good day to be Boston College football coach — past or present.

On the same day BC fired Frank Spaziani, North Carolina State did the same to former Eagles coach Tom O’Brien.

Continue reading below

O’Brien entered the season with hopes of contending for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. Instead, his program continued its up-and-down ways of the past six years — which ultimately cost him his job. He ended his tenure in Raleigh with four bowl bids yet never could reach the ACC championship game.

Athletic director Debbie Yow made the announcement one day after the Wolfpack finished a 7-5 regular season with a win over BC. Yow said she met with O’Brien Friday to discuss the future of the program, then notified him of her decision Sunday before meeting with the coaching staff and players.

O’Brien went 40-35 after coming to Raleigh from BC following the 2006 season. He took the Wolfpack to three bowl games, but won’t coach in a fourth when N.C. State receives its bid next week. Yow said O’Brien’s buyout would be $1.2 million over four years.

The 64-year-old O’Brien said he is looking forward to life after football.

Offensive coordinator Dana Bible will be the interim coach for the bowl game. All other assistants are staying to continue bowl preparations.

Rapid fall for the Tigers

Gene Chizik led Auburn to perhaps the greatest season in the program’s history, and two years later to maybe its worst. The rapid fall from a national championship to 3-9 and the Southeastern Conference doormat led to Chizik’s firing, a day after a humbling 49-0 loss to No. 2 Alabama that showed just how far the program has slipped. The Tigers endured the worst slide within two years of winning a national championship of any team since the Associated Press poll started in 1936 and hadn’t lost this many games since going 0-10 in 1950. The decision came 17 months after Auburn gave Chizik a contract worth some $3.5 million annually through 2015 with a hefty buyout. ‘‘I’m extremely disappointed with the way this season turned out and I apologize to the Auburn family and our team for what they have had to endure,’’ Chizik said in a statement. The Tigers went from 14-0 with a perfect SEC record with Cam Newton leading the offense in 2010 to 3-9 and 0-8, losing their final three league games by a combined 150-21. Auburn was blown out by Texas A&M (63-21) and Georgia (38-0) but the finale was even more painful for Tigers fans. Chizik was 33-19 in four seasons and 15-17 in SEC games. Auburn said the total buyout for Chizik and his assistants is $11.09 million. Chizik’s buyout is expected to total $7.5 million and will be paid in monthly installments for the next four years . . . A strong finish for Purdue wasn’t enough to save Danny Hope’s job. One day after Purdue retained the Old Oaken Bucket and became bowl eligible for the second straight season, athletic director Morgan Burke announced that Hope had been fired. Hope went 22-27 in four mostly injury-ravaged seasons. He ended the school’s three-year bowl drought last season and brought Purdue its first bowl title since 2007 by winning the Little Caesars Bowl and was given a two-year contract extension in December that runs through the 2016 season . . . Colorado coach Jon Embree was fired after going 4-21 in two seasons. The Buffaloes just completed the worst season in the 123-year history of the program. They finished 1-11 with their only win a 35-34 decision at Washington State Sept 23.

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week