North Carolina Connection In National Championship Game

When Auburn plays Oregon in college football's national championship game on January 10, there will be an unusual connection between Auburn and Asheville, N.C.

A group of senior citizens in the mountain city, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times, may have personal reasons to root for Auburn.

Gene Chizik, the father of Auburn coach Gene Chizik Jr., grew up in Asheville and played at Lee Edwards High. He was a linebacker/center and co-captain of the 1940 Maroon Devils. The legendary Charlie Justice also played on that team.

Gene Chizik went on to play at Rollins (Fla.) College and was a hero in World War II, earning a medal, and returned to Florida for a long career as a high school coach and principal in Clearwater.

The complete story can be found on the Asheville Citizen-Times web site in the paper's High School Sports section.