So much for that particular storyline.
Late last month, it was reported that Gus Malzahn would be forced to accept a reduced buyout — $32 million per his contract — to remain for his seventh season as Auburn’s head football coach. That report came just a day or so after Bob Stoops‘ name was attached to the job, which the retired former Oklahoma head coach vehemently pushed back against.
In his first meeting in front of the media since that speculation surfaced, Malzahn addressed the talk head-on and left no gray area as to his view of his situation on The Plains.
“A couple things I wanted to clear up that are out there,” the head coach said by way of al.com. “First of all, my contract has not changed one bit. I was never told I had to change my contract to keep my job. I have the support of our athletic director and president. There’s nobody hamstringing me from doing our job.”
In early November, athletic director Allan Greene publicly stated that Malzahn would be the Tigers’ head coach in 2019; this past Monday, in his first public comments since the reports surfaced, Greene reaffirmed his support.
“To confirm, Coach Malzahn is dedicated to this program and he has my support as we work together to move forward,” the AD said in a letter published on the school’s official athletics website. “Our discussions are ongoing, and we will focus on evolving in all facets of the program to achieve better and more consistent results.”
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.