After two tumultuous seasons, Auburn fired football coach Brian Harsin on Monday.
The decision comes shortly before the school is expected to name a new athletic director in former Mississippi State AD John Cohen, a source told ESPN’s Pete Thamel.
Harsin’s firing comes less than 48 hours after the Tigers lost to Arkansas by two touchdowns.
The team fell to 3-5 and is in danger of missing 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 this decision after thoroughly examining and evaluating all aspects of the football program. Auburn will begin an immediate search for a coach that can return the Auburn program to a place where it can continue to compete at the highest levels and represent the winning tradition that is Auburn football.
According to the terms of his contract, Harsin was required to pay 50 percent ($7.75 million) within 30 days and the remaining 50 percent ($7.75) in four installments of $15.5 million.
Two years ago, the school decided to pay $21.7 million to fire Gus Malzahn, who went 68-34 in eight seasons.
Auburn is coming off a 6-7 season, and last February the university began an investigation into Harsin’s status in his dealings with the program.
The investigation comes after several players and coaches left during the season.
Auburn eventually fired Harsin, who later called it a “personal attack” and said it “didn’t work.”
Auburn opened the season with two straight wins over Mercer and San Jose State, but has gone 1-5 since then.
Harsin, 45, comes to Auburn on a six-year, $31.5 million contract after seven seasons as the head coach at Boise State.
His record as a head coach, including one season at Arkansas State, is 85-36.