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.