It appears that, following an in-season vote of confidence and post-regular season speculation about his future, Gus Malzahn will indeed remain the head football coach at Auburn — albeit with some strings attached.
According to Phillip Marshall of 247Sports.com, “Malzahn is on the verge of accepting a reduced buyout and other limitations to remain for his seventh season as Auburn’s head football coach.” Malzahn’s current contract calls for a buyout that’s a little north of $32 million; it’s unclear what the new buyout number would be.
There could also be tweaks involving Malzahn’s assistants, with Marshall writing that “[a]ny coaching staff moves would have to be revenue neutral, effectively removing the possibility of paying buyouts for assistant coaches and assuring Chip Lindsey would remain as offensive coordinator unless he chooses to leave.”
The report adds that Malzahn is on the verge of accepting the new conditions, although it’s unclear when a final agreement will be reached.
The news comes some 24 hours after Bob Stoops‘ name was attached to a job that’s not open. The retired former Oklahoma head coach subsequently vehemently denied that he had met with anyone connected to Auburn in regards to the job.
In six seasons at Auburn, Malzahn has posted a 52-27 record overall and a 28-20 mark in SEC play. After making it to the BCS championship game in his first season, the Tigers have reached double-digits in wins just one season (10-4 in 2017). After entering this year ranked in the Top 10, AU ended the regular season at 7-5.