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Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:28 pm
Edited on: December 14, 2011 11:50 am
 
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In what might be the most surprising hire of the 2011 coaching carousel, Arkansas State has hired away coveted Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn as the Red Wolves' new head football coach.

The news was being reported Tuesday night by multiple outlets including the Birmingham News, AuburnUndercover.com, and others. Malzahn will replace new Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, hired by the Rebels Dec. 4 after one 10-2 season in Jonesboro.

Gene Chizik announced Wednesday that Malzahn would remain on the Auburn staff through the Tigers' Chick-Fil-A Bowl appearance against Virginia.

"I'm very happy for Gus and the opportunity that awaits him at Arkansas State," Chizik said. "Gus has always had the strong desire to become a head coach and the chance for him to return to his home state that he is so familiar with, will be very beneficial."

Though contract terms are not yet public, Malzahn is expected to earn somewhere between $650,000 and $850,000 in annual salary to coach ASU. Though that represents approximately three times what the Red Wolves were paying Freeze (who had been promoted from offensive coordinator to replace the dismissed Steve Roberts), those figures would amount to a substantial pay cut for Malzahn, who earned $1.3 million this season as one of the nation's highest-paid assistants.

As recently as last year, Malzahn also reportedly turned down offers from both Vanderbilt and Maryland, the former to have allegedly paid him in the ballpark of $3 million per season. So why bolt for a program that until this year had been to all of one bowl game as a full Division I member?

That Malzahn is a native of Fort Smith, Ark. and remains one of the state's all-time most successful high school coaches certainly doesn't hurt, but CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman also reported that Malzahn "feels like he needs to prove he's a head coach" after being passed over for the recently filled Kansas and North Carolina positions.

Whatever his reasoning, it leaves Auburn in the awkward position of having to replace both coordinators in the space of a single offseason after the recent departure of Ted Roof. Chizik received a substantial bump in salary after his national title-winning season; he's about to have to earn it.
Comments

Since: Oct 20, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:01 pm
 

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

I guess the NCAA coming out saying AU had a clean bill of health and did nothing wrong in the Cam Newton case means nothing.

 




Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:29 am
 

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

If he makes Arkansas St any type of power, it will be at the detriment of Arkansas.  I have no problem with that.  But to say that he can make Arkansas St a national power is quite the reach.  He was scared of the challenge at Vandy, but he thinks he can do something at ASU.  I wish the guy all the best, but he is taking a big step down from where he was.  People can speculate all they want about why Gus took this job, but I will be interested to see what he has to say.  If he is comfortable with this decision, then I support him completely.  He is home and is making a whole lot more than the last time he worked in the state. 



Since: Nov 9, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:16 am
 

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

Malzahn to A State makes a lot of sense.  The Red Wolves have the oppurtunity to dominate a conference with what they have coming back.  He will be able to recruit well, and he has a great relationship with many high school coaches in the state and region.  The feeling in Arkansas is that Malzahn has the chance to make A State a program that could replicate the success of Boise in the next few years.  He will have an oppurtunity to win a few "money games" because of the talent he has coming back next year.  It is a good hire for Malzahn who gets to come home and have the support of the entire state.
YES!  This is it exactly.  My thoughts... What coach would NOT want the opportunity to take a mid-major program and bring it to the level where it can compete nationally and be ranked in the top 25.  Don't get me wrong... I'm not talking national TITLE contension at this point, but the possibility is there given 5-10 years and a conference change.  Why not and why shouldn't Malzahn be the guy that does it?





Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2011 10:28 am
 

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

Malzahn to A State makes a lot of sense.  The Red Wolves have the oppurtunity to dominate a conference with what they have coming back.  He will be able to recruit well, and he has a great relationship with many high school coaches in the state and region.  The feeling in Arkansas is that Malzahn has the chance to make A State a program that could replicate the success of Boise in the next few years.  He will have an oppurtunity to win a few "money games" because of the talent he has coming back next year.  It is a good hire for Malzahn who gets to come home and have the support of the entire state
It seems to me that Malzahn could have become head coach and a more established program with just a little patience - does he know something we don't about those long-time ongoing investigations into Auburn's pay for play? The fact that he goes to Arkansas State to make less money tells me something is afoot.



Since: Dec 14, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 9:52 am
 

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

Malzahn to A State makes a lot of sense.  The Red Wolves have the oppurtunity to dominate a conference with what they have coming back.  He will be able to recruit well, and he has a great relationship with many high school coaches in the state and region.  The feeling in Arkansas is that Malzahn has the chance to make A State a program that could replicate the success of Boise in the next few years.  He will have an oppurtunity to win a few "money games" because of the talent he has coming back next year.  It is a good hire for Malzahn who gets to come home and have the support of the entire state.



Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 9:40 am
 

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

This makes absolutely no sense to me.  Why would anyone take a 50% pay cut to go and be in charge of a much smaller program.  If this was about being a HC, he would/could have taken one of the positions offered to him last season that would have paid him a lot more money.  I did not understand why he stayed at Auburn knowing that the team was going to drop this season without Cam and Fairly.  Maybe Gus is just a strange dude. 



Since: Oct 20, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 9:37 am
 

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

Thanks for all you did for AU, your offense is fun to watch!!
And you did guide the AU offense to a SEC W, SEC and MNChampionship, plus a Heisman trophy winning QB!!
The only surprise is where Coach Malzhan went, not that he went.
Coach Chizik can't be surprised that he left.
Money does not drive everyone, it is nice for sure, but perhaps the chance to be a HC where he could win was more important.
Good luck to you Coach!



Since: Jan 5, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2011 9:12 am
 

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

Not sure what to make of this move. Maybe Malzahn just doesn't have the right personna needed in a head coach. Some of these so called "offensive geniuses" don't come across as head coaching material. Or maybe the allure of going back home to Arkansas is all he really wanted. One observer stated he thinks Gus just wants to prove himself as a head coach at a non-bcs school to build his confidence. Maybe so, but most of these OC types have huge ego's, so this move just raises some questions. Or maybe the NCAA was about to find out some really bad stuff about Auburn. This will be interesting on how it plays out down the road.



Since: Apr 17, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2011 8:41 am
 

Auburn needed two new coordinators..

Gus was stale this year and it wasn't the talent level - it was the play-calling.  Too much fancy, not enough substance.
As for the D - we need not even mention it, obviously a change was needed.

Auburn will be just fine.
Back to Gus - When he didn't get a "better" job offer than Vandy and/or Maryland he realized it was time to be an HC somewhere.  Good for him. He did great with Cam, he did great with Felix & DMac.  Without a superstar college player, he's been suspect.  We'll see how he turns out...



Since: Nov 18, 2007
Posted on: December 14, 2011 7:23 am
 

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

jake- Yep,  home played a big role here.


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