At various points last December, Gus Malzahn was reportedly on the verge — or had become — the head coach at Vanderbilt and then Maryland. Malzahn ultimately stayed with Auburn as its offensive coordinator, albeit with a bit heftier bank account.
Nearly a year later, it’s déjà vu all over again.
Malzahn’s name has been connected to the opening at North Carolina for weeks, if not months, and is viewed by those close to the situation as a very viable permanent replacement for Butch Davis. Now, AuburnUndercover.com is reporting that Malzahn has emerged as the clear front-runner for the Tar Heels job.
There has been speculation that a new head coach at UNC, whether it be Malzahn or another candidate, could be named the first week of December, if not sooner.
In addition to UNC, Malzahn has also been mentioned in connection to Ole Miss as well as Arizona. The coordinator was asked about all of the speculation swirling around his coaching future, and, as expected, said he was only focused on the job at hand.
“You know the only thing I’ve done, we’ve got two more games and I’ve got to do the best job I’ve done since I’ve been here and that’s my focus, my only focus,” Malzahn said.
Along with Malzahn, Houston’s Kevin Sumlin and Southern Miss’ Larry Fedora have been prominently mentioned as possibilities. Rivals.com reported Wednesday that Boise State’s Chris Petersen was far and away the top choice for new athletic director Bubba Cunningham, but that appears to be nothing more than pipe dream for the university.