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Forget Texas? Malzahn “tickled to death” to be in Auburn

Gus Malzahn AP

The Texas Longhorns can theoretically hire any coach they desire, but they apparently can’t lure a coach over from the state of Alabama. Days after Alabama locked up Nick Saban, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn finds himself fending off rumors surrounding the vacancy at Texas.

“I’m a good fit for the Auburn Tigers, that’s why I signed the contract the day before the SEC championship,” Malzahn said Monday according to Auburn Undercover. “Like I said before I’m tickled to death to be here.”

Malzahn agreed to an extension prior to the SEC Championship game against Missouri earlier this month.

“As I’ve said before, we want Coach Malzahn to be at Auburn for a long time,” Auburn’s Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs said at the time. “The new contract includes a raise and extension and is our statement that Auburn is committed to Coach Malzahn for the long haul.”

As previously reported, the new deal for Malzahn at Auburn will offer an annual salary of $3.85 million in 2014 and will include an annual raise of $250,000 each year remaining on the contract. Those are numbers that Texas would have no problem equalling, or improving on if they wanted to make a serious push for Malzahn to get him to consider it.

Whether or not Texas is actually looking in to making a move for Malzahn is anyone’s guess. The names floating around the Texas coaching search will surely include names that are commonly known and come with a high-profile. Malzahn’s profile was already an attractive one, but after leading Auburn to a huge turnaround this fall that stock continues to rise. Malzahn has been named the Home Depot Coach of the Year and the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year, won the SEC championship and has a shot at winning a BCS title in January.

Malzahn certainly fits that description, but if we are to take him at his word right now, Auburn is the place for him right now.

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35 Responses to “Forget Texas? Malzahn “tickled to death” to be in Auburn”
  1. BrownsTown says: Dec 16, 2013 7:41 PM

    Translation: the contact he signed two weeks ago was written in erasable ink.

  2. beveaux says: Dec 16, 2013 7:52 PM

    Kind of funny that all these coaches from college to the NFL are coming out and denying that they are interested in the Longhorn job.

    Other than Saban, none of these guys’ names have come up anywhere else.

    Just the media trying to stir it up.

  3. normtide says: Dec 16, 2013 7:58 PM

    Again. Yes, Texas has the most money. But, it isn’t like they dwarf the other big programs. Also, you can win it all at auburn just as easy as Texas. The numbers prove it. UT will find a great coach, but the can’t just pick who they want. Brown wasn’t a hot commodity when they hired him from UNC. USC hiring Sark should have shown you that. Those days are long gone. Some media outlets are watching to much “Mad Men”. Your living in the past.

  4. Deb says: Dec 16, 2013 8:42 PM

    They tried to make me go to Texas
    but I said, ‘No, no, no.’

  5. drummerhoff says: Dec 16, 2013 8:42 PM

    I wonder if LHN commitments are a turnoff for a lot of Headcoaches?

  6. auburntigers34 says: Dec 16, 2013 9:15 PM

    Gus Malzahn isn’t going anywhere. Anyone that thinks otherwise is kidding themselves.

  7. normtide says: Dec 16, 2013 10:01 PM

    The LHN probably does turn some coaches away from UT. To me, you need a young, energetic coach who thinks out of the box. To the right coach, it could be a powerful weapon.

  8. normtide says: Dec 16, 2013 10:06 PM

    Aubie34, haven’t you read? Texas only has to wink, and any coach in America would bend over for them. It’s the greatest coaching job in sports, lol.

    Can anyone tell me Texas coach who was elite level when they hired him? From what I’ve read, there best coaches weren’t in high demand when Texas hired them. Again, not saying UT isn’t a top program, but it is one of a dozen or so top programs.

  9. goodfieldnohit says: Dec 16, 2013 10:18 PM

    I’ll keep saying it. Until Texas stops conducting it’s private business in public, they will be nothing more than a clown show.

    Next up, Bev Kearney v. Major Applewhite.

  10. boomgrounder says: Dec 16, 2013 10:21 PM

    Malzhan did not state “I will not be the next HC at UT”, because if he wins the National Championship Game he will be. If FSU wins it will be Jimbo Fischer. Both coaches have agreed in principal to a deal that would make the winner the higher paid HC in the history of CFB. Agent Jimmy Sexton handles both coaches and is negotiating the deal.

  11. goodfieldnohit says: Dec 16, 2013 10:29 PM

    that’s rich. Jimbo Fischer is willing to walk away from a Heisman trophy winner just to be a coach at Texas?

  12. amosalanzostagg says: Dec 16, 2013 11:04 PM

    I want the drugs that boomgrounder is using.

    Saban stays at Alabama despite all the Saban 2014 shirts at the University of Texas.

    David Shaw is 34-6 at Stanford and prepping for bowl game against Michigan State, says he’s not interested in any job other than Stanford and Texas thinks he’s coming to Austin.

    Gus Malzahn and Jimbo Fisher are playing for the national championship and they’re going to leave their respective programs that they are building for the opportunity to rebuild a program that could very well be 8-5 after their bowl game when Texas actual record is more close to 7-6 with the blown ISU call?

    boomgrounder, I know you’re trying to stir the pot, but Sexton cannot represent BOTH coaches in the same client situation for the University of Texas. It is considered a breach of fiduciary responsibility to BOTH of his clients and is an actionable offense in a civil court of law. It breaches the legal code of ethics. The only way he could represent the University of Texas is have full disclosure of his representation to ALL of his clients prior to any and all negotiations, that would have had to include Saban. If he doesn’t disclose his role, he can be sued for acting in bad faith to multiple clients.

    Since your a Texas fan, methinks you are full of bovine feces.


  13. brutusbuckeye2011 says: Dec 16, 2013 11:18 PM

    Malzahn can win 8-10 games a year at Auburn and be a hero. 8-10 wins per year at Texas won’t cut it. The pressure to win at Auburn is high, but at Texas it would be extremely high. Unless he wants the big paycheck he should stay where he is.

  14. Deb says: Dec 16, 2013 11:35 PM

    Right, boomgrounder. The deal has already been done with Gus and/or Jimbo. Is that from the same booster who was telling folks at Thanksgiving dinner the deal was done with Saban?

  15. Michael Walker says: Dec 16, 2013 11:39 PM

    It isn’t about the name or prestige or anything like that. Texas will hire a coach from a successful “big 5″ program.

    There are a handful of coaches that would not leave their current position for any offer, but those are few and far between.

    You cannot say who they really are until they receive and turn down a very lucrative offer from Texas or anyone else willing to “pay up.”

    Texas and Alabama got into a bidding war for Nick Saban and it cost the Crimson Tide $7.5 million to keep him.

    A recent Alabama athletic budget was $124.5 million. Auburn’s was $104 million, FSU $87 million.

    Texas has the largest budget and donor base with just under $180 million. They can afford to double a lot of coaches salaries and will if necessary. Jimbo Fisher was just increased to $4.1 million.

    Would he or Coach Malzhan be dedicated enough to walk away from $6 or $7 million? Who knows?

    How about Bob Stoops and his $4.8 million at Oklahoma? Or do you go for a proven up and comer like Louisville’s Coach Charlie Strong and lure him away from his $3.75 million?

    I doubt that any of us can say with certainty who would turn down whatever they offer with the exception of Nick Saban. Of course he is now the second highest paid coach in the country, college or pro.

  16. bralinshan says: Dec 16, 2013 11:46 PM

    Funny, saying I’m “tickled to death to be here” isn’t emphatic at all. Chip Kelly said that his involvement was “just speculation”. Saban never came out for 5 entire days and let it all just build up…

    Why don’t these guys just say “No way. I’m staying here and that is absolutely the end of the discussion?”

    Malzahn may be tickled to death. But if Texas pays him $6-7M? His tickle will move on down the road. Texas is a place with better facilities and he doesn’t have to face Alabama, LSU, Texas AM, GA, etc…his road to an NC is easier at UT.

  17. sportsguy3434 says: Dec 17, 2013 12:24 AM

    It is an interesting paradox on how to handle these situations. If they say they will not go to UT, then we say we’ve heard that before. If they kind of write off the question, then we are suspicious. The only statement they could do otherwise is to flash the hook em sign upside down, because then he would loose the horn fans. That wouldn’t be classy.

    UT will make their list and go down it until someone says maybe. I am sure it will be a great coach, but there are many out there. This has almost become a quest for the trophy coach with the biggest resume instead of who is the best fit, at least in the media.

  18. sportsguygerald says: Dec 17, 2013 12:53 AM

    If the road to the National Championship is easier at Texas, then why have they only had 1 in the past 43 years?

  19. thegeneral7694 says: Dec 17, 2013 12:53 AM

    I seriously doubt Malzahn would leave AU after just one year, but anyone who thinks Texas isn’t a step up from Auburn job-wise has been spending too much time in enclosed garages with running cars. And with Malzahn’s running game, he could do some serious damage at Texas. Doesn’t mean he’ll go, of course, and I don’t think he will…..but who could blame him if he did? To go from coaching high school in Buttcrack, Arkansas to the University of Texas in a decade span? That would be some serious upward mobility….

  20. Michael Walker says: Dec 17, 2013 12:56 AM

    sportsguy3434, I think you nailed it. Texas and Alabama started this salary escalation with their bidding war for Saban.

    What can FSU say if Fisher wins the national championship and asks, “Am I only worth a little over half what Saban makes to you?”

    I believe new Texas A D Steve Patterson will look at the list of 64 head coaches in the big 5 hone it down to five possibilities that he does believe fits the criteria he is looking for.

    I am not a Longhorns fan but I do not attempt to make my school seem better by disparaging others.

    The effect of the Texas hire will only touch those teams they play, as well as create possible further escalation of coaches salaries.

  21. auburntigers34 says: Dec 17, 2013 1:54 AM

    Normtide, I totally agree. The media (and a lot of UT fans) seem to think that every coach in the country would love nothing more than to be the HC at Texas. I’d love to know what they’re basing this on when they haven’t even had to make a hire in 16 years.

    Believe it or not, a lot of coaches *want* to compete in the strongest conference in college football…especially if they can land a gig at one of the top 6-7 schools.

    The UT job doesn’t have the appeal that it had even a few years ago. They may get a very good HC, but if it’s an SEC coach, they better be willing to settle for someone like James Franklin or some other coach that doesn’t already have the facilities, recruits, etc in place to win NCs.

  22. boomgrounder says: Dec 17, 2013 2:19 AM

    Amos, it’s perfectly legal for an agent who represent 2 coaches to negotiate desperately for for both of those coaches with the University of Texas. Goodness gracious Sexton represented Saban also he could have negotiated for him too if Nick wanted him too. As long as the coaches sign off on it and they do. They put their trust in the agent and all they want to do is coach the National Championship Game. It’s perfectly legal he’s their agent and UT is without a HC and is willing to make either one of these guys the highest paid HC in the history of CFB. It’s the perfect scenario for Texas because Sexton represented Mack Brown also and he’s willing to stay on at Texas in an advisory role for a massive golden parachute to keep his mouth shut. The coaches don’t want to know the details they just want to coach and not be distracted. Texas can just keep floating big time names out there to keep recruits interested. Then after the game they’ll announce they’re new HC. It will be either Fischer or Malzhan.

  23. amosalanzostagg says: Dec 17, 2013 8:40 AM


    No, it is not, period.

    The scenario you presented was one in which Sexton represents the University of Texas as his client to hire for the Head Football Coach position. He has to disclose his role as to who represents at the beginning. An agent cannot represent both sides in a negotiation, it is a breach of fiduciary role, any law school first year student could tell you that. Sexton represented Saban, exclusively in his negotiations with Alabama and Texas.

    You prove you have no knowledge what so ever when you opined that Sexton represented Brown, that is news to Joe Jamail, Mack’s agent. The golden parachute you outlined was a position as a special adviser to the office of the President of the University of Texas, Bill Powers, Mack’s best friend, at $500,000 a year until 2020. Bill Powers and the University of Texas extended the offer, not the the University of Texas Athletic Department which is it’s own separate entity. A reduction from $5.5 million to $500,000 is not a golden parachute, it is a demotion. Mack doesn’t have to keep his mouth shut on anything, he hasn’t done anything wrong.

    You once again proved you are full of bovine feces.


  24. wadaea says: Dec 17, 2013 10:00 AM

    You have to play in a top conference and play rated teams to be relevant. Just ask urban meyer. The big 12 is not a strong conference.

  25. Michael Walker says: Dec 17, 2013 10:25 AM

    Hey, Wadaea. Your bias is showing. There are ways to criticize all five of the major conferences.

    But how does that make your favorite conference any better? They are called the “big 5″ for a reason. Ask ESPN/Fox Sports. They love the Big 12.

    Calling my date ugly does nothing to improve yours. Coach Meyer would probably appreciate his name being capitalized, also. Why disrespect him?

  26. Michael Walker says: Dec 17, 2013 10:36 AM

    Mr. McGuire, nice job on the article. You certainly stirred up a hornet’s nest. Would you care to opine regarding the subject of the comments?

  27. amosalanzostagg says: Dec 17, 2013 10:47 AM


    ESPN, Fox et al love the University of Texas and OU.

    Outside those two teams, the rest of the conference could be shown on PBS for the number of households they could bring to TV execs.

    Overall athletic networks year round including football, it’s the B1g Ten first, PAC-12 second, SEC third, ACC fourth and the Big 12 bring up the rear.
    That is why the Big 12 is ripe when the Super Conferences start forming. Texas ditches the LHN and goes to west to the PAC-12 and the conference
    is gone with the wind.

  28. Michael Walker says: Dec 17, 2013 11:17 AM

    That’s not just Kool aid, it’s spiked. Your bias is laughable.

    The Big 12 paid out more to each member than any other conference last year. If any team leaves the Big 12, it will not be for at least 12 years. Have you ever read a Grant of Rights Contract?

    Before you say any contract can be broken and fabricate some loophole, look at Maryland.

    Maryland never agreed to a $50 million exit fee from the ACC. It was a voice vote at a conference meeting and Maryland voted against it.

    So far the courts are upholding the ACC in the lawsuit. In order to avoid future litigation and the poaching of teams, the ACC signed a GOR. That stopped expansion by the Big 10 and the Big 12 in it’s tracks.

    Texas doesn’t need the PAC 12 and would gain nothing from a move anyway. And you called the SEC the third strongest conference? Really? I would love to know your source for that call.

  29. Deb says: Dec 17, 2013 11:43 AM

    @Michael Walker …

    You make a lot of good points, although I don’t necessarily agree that Texas and Alabama were in a bidding war for Saban. If you understand how Saban operates at Alabama, you know Texas isn’t a good fit for him.

    One reason it took so long for Alabama to hire a coach of that caliber is the boosters wanted someone they could control (which is fairly typical). When the football people finally overrode and brought in Saban, he immediately made clear he had no intention of playing the social/political game. He’d put in five-minute appearances, then dispatch Terry to handle the rest of the hand-shaking. Now that he’s turned around the program, he has full carte blanche. He’s not going to trade that for a program where the booster/political pressures are 10 times what he found on arriving in Tuscaloosa.

    Rather than initiating a true bidding war, I think he simply leveraged the continuing interest in his services to cement his place as the highest-paid coach in football. Putting him in that position makes the Bama people breathe easier and furthers the perception of Alabama as the nation’s premier football program. Given the amount of revenue he’s generated since coming to Tuscaloosa, the salary increase isn’t that big a deal.

  30. Michael Walker says: Dec 17, 2013 12:45 PM

    Touche’ Deb. I have to agree. But he did incite the bidding war.

    All he had to do was leave the unsigned contract extension lying on the corner of his desk for a week.

    Smooth, classy and very effective.

  31. Deb says: Dec 17, 2013 5:13 PM

    @Michael …

    Sometimes saying nothing is the best negotiating strategy :)

  32. Michael Walker says: Dec 17, 2013 5:33 PM

    Indeed. All he had to do is sit there and do his job. You know someone walked into the A D’s office every day and asked, “Did he sign it or even say anything?”

    The A D probably just shook his head no. Then the go between for the athletic board would have asked, “What do you think that means? I keep reading about Saban and Texas.”

    And A D Bill battle probably pointed out that some coaches take weeks or even months to sign a contract.

    But it was too late. The seed was already planted.
    From that point on, Alabama was probably bidding against itself. $7.5 million!

    Only New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton makes more at $8 million. Saban probably makes as much as half the players in the NBA!

    I did not say he wasn’t worth it. He is worth whatever they are willing to pay.

  33. boomgrounder says: Dec 17, 2013 11:27 PM

    @Amos DUH!!! You can’t be serious. You do realize an Agent representing a Coach in a negotiation with a school rrepresents the coach. That’s a given. I didn’t think that would have to be explained. I believe every person with a brain realizes the University of Texas will have their own attorneys representing them. Tell me you already knew this!

  34. boomgrounder says: Dec 18, 2013 12:19 AM

    @ Amos Also, Techinically, Joe Jamail is Mack Brown’s Attorney. He’s his best friend. He wants what is best for his friend and UT. He’s a a Multibillionaire, a big time donor to UT. What you have to realize is that these guys including Jamail are going to do what they think is best for Texas Football and money ain’t an issue. Mack got his money in this deal too. What I meant by keeping his mouth shut was not saying anything to cause bad blood to hurt recruiting. And as you see Mack is gentle as a lamb and all is good in Longhorn land. Sexton is running this “whole deal” from the coaches end. Obviously he does not “represent” UT. But the bottom line is that he did, get Mack Brown his Golden Parachute in this deal too and Jamail is all in. The bottom line is Mack was not going to be the HC at UT in 2014 and Mack Brown needed to figure out a way to come out of this with a lot of money and his pride and dignity intact. But Brown like any other man had a certain price he was looking for. Fischer or Malzhan will be coming in for the right price. It’s all about the money. It’s always about the money! If you don’t think behind the scenes, I’ll scratch your back if you’ll scratch mine, go on in CFB, especially in Texas then I’ll sell you some mountaintop property a block from the ocean in FL!
    Jamail was ready to sue Sexton a month ago when Sexton was contacting UT to try to work out a deal with Saban. When Saban’s wife decided not to make the move Sexton moved to Fischer and Malzhan. When Brown lost to Baylor all hope was lost for him to keep his job and even Jamail couldn’t save him. So he decided to call Sexton to get Mack the best Golden Parachute he could. Sexton tells UT I’ll have Mack Brown resigning in 2 days and he’ll coach in the bowl game and love Texas forever if you give him an Advisory Position and pay him $$$. Next thing you know they gotta deal! Texas recruits are intact, the school’s name and honor are in good standing. Brown got his asking price and Texas is looking forward to having either Fischer or Malzhan as the next HC.

  35. amosalanzostagg says: Dec 21, 2013 8:17 PM


    Again you’re full of bovine feces,

    frpm ESPN

    “Ok, so Texas head football coach Mack Brown’s 2013 season will be his last, reportedly. According to a source, who spoke with ESPN, Brown, Texas president Bill Powers and Brown’s agent, Joe Jamail, have been discussing Brown’s future, in which they all amicably agreed that Brown would step down within the next couple of days.”

    You need to stop digging the hole you’re in.

    Here is a list of Sexton’s college and pro coaches

    Sexton College Coaches

    Lane Kiffin

    Will Muschamp

    Houston Dale Nutt

    Tommy Tubberville

    Nick Saban

    Gene Chizik

    Mike Gundy

    Steve Spurrier

    Hugh Freeze

    Jimbo Fisher

    Gus Malzahn

    Frank Beamer

    David Cutcliffe

    Rich Rodriquez

    Bobby Petrino

    Derek Dooley

    Kevin Steele

    Butch Davis

    Larry Coker

    Phil Fulmer

    Charlie Weatherby (Former ULM who beat ‘Bama in Saban’s 1st yr. )

    Matt Cain (Former NC State coach and the pride of the Blue Hose; not mlb pitcher)

    Sexton Pro Coaches

    Rex Ryan

    Don Capers

    Jim Haslett

    Monte Kiffin

    Bill Parcels

    Sexton NFL Players

    Reggie White (Began Pro Ball 1984; 1st client; 5 yr/ $5.5M USFL Memphis Showboats record)
    Corliss Williamson
    Jeremiah Trotter
    Isacc Bruce
    Phillip Rivers
    Jason Witten (described as his greatest failure; Sexton was convinced that he was a 1 st round pick and talked him into coming out earlier but fell to Rd 3/ #69 overall)
    Chris Samuels
    Aaron Glenn
    Jason Sehorn
    Michael Oher
    DeAngelo Williams
    Maurice Clarett (30 for 30)
    Patrick Ramsey
    Jerome Woods

    Other Notables:

    Scottie Pippen

    Horace Grant

    Mike Anderson MBB Coach

    Quinn Snyder

    So, if Sexton ACTUALLY represented Brown, I wonder why his name would be prominently


    Could it be that Sexton never represented Brown since he already had a more than capable attorney in Joe Jamail, who just happens to be a graduate of the University of Texas?

    Jamal couldn’t sue Sexton because their never was an agent/client relationship. Remember,
    Texas contacted Saban’s agent, Jimmy Sexton, to guage his “interest”.

    One last fact mensa. The buyout provision in Mack’s contract was crafted by Jamail and the Texas Board of Regents in Mack’s last contract renegotiation. The buyout was for $2.75 million dollars if Mack was terminated as Head Coach before December 31, 2014. Jamail negotiated the position with Bill Powers in which the University of Texas would assume an “at will” contract for 7 years @ $500,000, $1million dollars more than his buyout with the Texas Athletic Department, Mack’s previous employer. If Mack was Head Coach on January 1, 2015., he would be guaranteed $40 million dollars remaining on the contract, regardless.

    Actual hard facts, not the conjecture and innuendo you offered, are VERY stubborn items.


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