Sorry, Arkansas. It looks like your head coaching search may have to turn elsewhere. According to a report Sunday evening, Gus Malzahn has agreed to a new contract to stay at Auburn.
As originally reported by Brandon Marcello of Auburn Undercover, the new contract will extend Malzahn’s stay at Auburn for five years with a raise that could reach $7 million. Nothing official has been announced by Auburn and Malzahn was reluctant to address his coaching future during a conference call for the Peach Bowl.
Malzahn’s reluctance to address his future at Auburn was seemingly suggesting he was keeping his options open for a possible move to Arkansas, but given the latest development here, it would seem Malzahn was waiting for the news to become official from the university standpoint. And with lawyers involved to make sure everything is good to go, that may not have been completed just yet.
Auburn won the SEC West Division this season and came up short of an SEC championship, but the Tigers defeated two No. 1 teams in the final month of the regular season with wins at home against Georgia and Alabama. Both Georgia and Alabama are heading to the College Football Playoff, with Auburn preparing to take on UCF in the Peach Bowl.
Malzahn, who was reported to be the number one target for Arkansas following the dismissal of Bret Bielema, spent one season as the head coach at Arkansas State before returning to Auburn. In five years with the Tigers, Malzahn has coached the program to a record of 45-21 with a BCS National Championship Game appearance (where Auburn lost to Florida State) and the Sugar Bowl last season. Malzahn has increased Auburn’s win total each of the past two seasons and is hoping to pick up his second bowl victory at Auburn (Malzahn is 1-3 in bowl games with the lone win coming in the Birmingham Bowl).