Allen Greene exits as Auburn Tigers’ athletic director

Allen Greene will “step down” from his role as Auburn’s athletic director, it was announced on Friday.

The decision was announced after the two sides negotiated the terms of Greene’s departure earlier in the day, sources told ESPN.

“The decision to retire from Auburn Athletics is not an easy one, but it is the right time for me to begin the next step in my professional journey,” Greene said in a statement released by the school. “I am very proud of the work we have done together to advance our athletics program.

“…I wish Auburn nothing but the best for years to come. I am confident that we will leave Auburn Athletics stronger than when we arrived.”

Greene entered the final five months of his contract, a rarity among athletic directors at major conference schools. Greene had asked Auburn for clarification on his future as his contract expired in January, sources told ESPN, and he was told Auburn would likely wait until the end of the football season to make a decision.

That led to Greene finding an exit strategy, sources told ESPN.

Greene was hired by Auburn from Buffalo in January 2018 and became the school’s first black athletic director. During Greene’s tenure, Auburn achieved two College World Series in baseball and a Final Four in men’s basketball and experienced significant growth in capital projects and facilities. Auburn is in the midst of building a $92 million soccer facility that is slated to open later this year.

However, problems in the football program have remained. The school fired coach Gus Malzahn in December 2020 and struggled to find a replacement, in part because of Auburn’s reputation for administrative dysfunction.

Greene led the search, which led to coach Bryan Harsin, whose tenure was obscured by a university “investigation.” This investigation has since been viewed as the school fishing for cause to dismiss Harsin for cause. Nothing was found, but Harsin has spent months fighting Auburn’s self-inflicted harm from the investigation.

Harsin is widely regarded as the coach for his job this season and it was widely considered unlikely that Greene would likely not be the athletic director to shape his destiny.

“Allen came to The Plains with vision, passion and experience to take Auburn’s athletics to the next level,” said University President Dr. Christopher Roberts in a statement. “In the short time I have worked with Allen as President, he has proven to be an asset to Auburn, enhancing our athletics programs and facilities, and devoting himself to our student athletes, integrity and our university. We’re grateful for his dedication and contributions to Auburn over the past four and a half years.”

Greene is a former Notre Dame baseball player who established his reputation in the track and field industry when he served as an assistant AD at Ole Miss to Buffalo, where prior to his arrival he was an assistant and then athletic director, the director of college Athletics worked up in Auburn in 2018. Allen Greene exits as Auburn Tigers’ athletic director

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