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Updated: Auburn hires former OC Gus Malzahn

Middle Tennessee Arkansas St Football

Not to be outdone by SEC West rival Arkansas, which will reportedly hire Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, word on who Auburn will hire is beginning to leak as well.

Word began to spread Tuesday afternoon when Auburn president Jay Gogue confirmed that the university was planning to announce its new head coach within the next 24 hours.

Not long after, multiple media outlets including,, and Chris Bahn of reported that Arkansas State coach Gus Malzahn will be the Tigers’ new head coach. Auburn announced a press conference for 9 p.m. ET to make the hire official.

The Red Wolves went 9-3 this year under Malzahn.

Malzahn was Auburn’s offensive coordinator from 2009-11 under former coach Gene Chizik. Chizik was fired late last month following a blowout loss to Alabama that ended AU’s season at 3-9. If the reports indeed come to fruition, Auburn would be repeating some history. Chizik was the program’s former defensive coordinator during Auburn’s undefeated 2004 season and Malzahn was the offensive coordinator for the team’s 2010 undefeated season.

Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was also believed to be a finalist for the job.

Updated 5:10 p.m. ET: Auburn has officially announced Malzahn as the team’s new head coach.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to become the head football coach at Auburn University. It’s an outstanding institution with a storied football program that I had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand for three years,” Malzahn said in a release. “I deeply appreciate the confidence that Dr. Gogue, Jay Jacobs and the search committee had in my ability to turn this program around and to bring Auburn back to national prominence. This is a homecoming for me and I look forward to being reunited with the Auburn family.”

“We are tremendously excited that Gus Malzahn will be our next head football coach,” AD Jay Jacobs said. “Coach Malzahn was the clear unanimous choice of our search committee, and I am pleased that Dr. Gogue has accepted our recommendation. This is a great day for Auburn football and Auburn University.”

“Gus Malzahn is a proven winner. He is without question one of the brightest minds in college football and he has won everywhere he has been. Coach Malzahn knows what it takes to build a championship program in the Southeastern Conference. He knows our state and region and he understands what it will take to turn our program around. Coach Malzahn will also be an outstanding ambassador for Auburn University, and that was important to the committee.”

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31 Responses to “Updated: Auburn hires former OC Gus Malzahn”
  1. tlmoon2112 says: Dec 4, 2012 4:04 PM

    they should have taken Kirby Dumb

  2. Deb says: Dec 4, 2012 4:04 PM

    Kirby’s been rumored as a finalist for every college job the last three years. Not sure what he has in mind, but glad it’s not that. Malzahn makes sense … but that must sting for Chizik.

  3. ducej11 says: Dec 4, 2012 4:07 PM

    He should bring Chizik back as a coordinator.

  4. chc4 says: Dec 4, 2012 4:12 PM

    Malzahn won’t scare anybody.

  5. harvupdyke says: Dec 4, 2012 4:16 PM

    Roll damn tide!

  6. wvuandsteelers says: Dec 4, 2012 4:16 PM

    The rumor I heard was that VanGorder is supposed to stick around and be D Coordinator and they wanted someone who was OK with that and more of an offensive guy. Malzahn seems to fit both bills. Not a shocking hire. I had him on my short list of who they may hire. The Arkansas hire still shocks me.

  7. thefiesty1 says: Dec 4, 2012 4:16 PM

    Why did they let him get away to Ark State in the first place? If he’d stayed Chizik probably would have had a better year and not been fired. Latest rumor — Chizik to Tennessee.

  8. wvuandsteelers says: Dec 4, 2012 4:28 PM

    No way Tennessee hires Chizik.

  9. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Dec 4, 2012 4:40 PM

    Now this hire surprised absolutely no one

  10. vanmorrissey says: Dec 4, 2012 4:41 PM

    Great, leaves the door open at T for Bobby P. Way to think outside the box Auburn.

  11. whatchutalkinboutwillis says: Dec 4, 2012 4:43 PM

    That’s okay, Aubies. Y’all can have your Malzahn, and we’ll keep our Kirby.

  12. be4bama says: Dec 4, 2012 4:46 PM

    No way Chezik goes to UT!!!

    Sent from my iPhone

  13. 24pointlead says: Dec 4, 2012 4:58 PM

    I have a hard time believing that Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson were on the Gus Bus.

  14. jimbo75025 says: Dec 4, 2012 4:59 PM

    Well, this suprises me a bit, I thought he would end up at Arkansas.

  15. jason1214 says: Dec 4, 2012 5:06 PM

    Hey Auburn & Gus….Cam is outta eligibility.
    Roll Tide

  16. pf1977 says: Dec 4, 2012 5:10 PM

    it isn’t like malzahn rebuilt arkansas state, current mississippi coach hugh freeze went 10-2 at arkansas state in the regular season last year. but i think freeze did a decent job at mississippi this season.

    not sure about this hire. would have liked to see malzahn recruit as a head coach for a couple years first.

  17. gotitan says: Dec 4, 2012 5:32 PM

    How does the Aggie Crow taste?? We know who’s best in the SEC. Facts don’t lie.

  18. thefiesty1 says: Dec 4, 2012 5:35 PM

    Chizik to Tennessee was meant as a joke. They are running out of time though.

  19. gatorprof says: Dec 4, 2012 5:46 PM

    Kirby would have been the better hire as defense wins in the SEC.

    Gus is a great OC, but his first hire had better be a top shelf DC. Even Spurrier didn’t win it all until he had a top shelf DC.

    Congrats to Auburn. Don’t hate on Gene, you got your title, so he should be put higher on your adoration list than Pat “Tie” Dye.

  20. houndofthebaskervols says: Dec 4, 2012 5:54 PM

    Great hire by Auburn, plus they get Kristi for free. LOL

  21. jason1214 says: Dec 4, 2012 6:01 PM

    UT….hire Strong.

  22. normtide says: Dec 4, 2012 7:03 PM

    I been around long enuff to know, you never count au out. But idk bout this hire. The sec started catching on to his offense, and Newton is not walking thru that door. Also, nothing that Van Gorder has shown me says top shelf. Good news for the barn is, word is the NCAA won’t be bringing sanctions.

  23. kozbee says: Dec 4, 2012 7:19 PM

    Congrats Auburn Fans imo Malzahn is a top coach and imo be a great recruiter.I dont think Smart was the coach that Auburn needed.WAR EAGLE to you FANS & Auburn FAMILY.

  24. fanofevilempire says: Dec 4, 2012 7:29 PM

    Auburn really believes they can compete for
    Championships in the SEC, yeah right.

  25. ningenito78 says: Dec 4, 2012 7:39 PM

    Um. Auburn just won the NC a couple years ago.

  26. dmvtransplant says: Dec 4, 2012 8:45 PM

    @ ningenito78

    I don’t know if anybody told you, but that guy is in the NFL now losing winnable games on Sundays.

  27. kcrobert10 says: Dec 4, 2012 10:05 PM

    Man these sec hires makes me feel even worse about mizzou not moving on from pinkel. Were in major trouble here we need a new coach who won’t get shown up week after week by these good sec coaches.

  28. kappy32 says: Dec 5, 2012 2:12 AM

    Anyone with a half a brain could have seen this one coming. Gus has been dying to get back into the SEC since leaving as OC & he was relatively successful as both an SEC coordinator & head coach of Arkansas State. This was a good move by Auburn; I just hope they’re not getting Chizik 2.0

  29. bamajs says: Dec 5, 2012 10:05 AM

    Well good, another Chezik-like hire. Looks like Bama won’t have to worry much about the Auburn game for another few years until AU runs Gus off.

  30. 24pointlead says: Dec 5, 2012 10:58 AM

    I am afraid you are right. It reminds me of the Doug Barfield hire after Shug Jordan. Nice guy, but sub par head coach.

  31. kozbee says: Dec 5, 2012 3:20 PM

    Rumors flying around that Jay Jacobs will resign and your new AD will be Pat Sullivan in the spring,if this is true then imo Pat is the right man for the job.Best to Auburn and the new staff.

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