Blog Entry

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,, 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'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.

Since: Nov 9, 2010
Posted on: December 14, 2011 7:13 am

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

Gus felt it was time to prove himself as a head coach.  Five different schools he interviewed with or inquired about did not make him an offer.  He felt he needed to jump, and Ark. is home.  Muschamp's first year have ADs thinkng twice before hiring cordinators. 

Good luck Gus and thanks for a good run!!!  

Since: Sep 5, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 1:54 am

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

Do you think there might be some issues on The Plains?  Auburn can bring in anybody to replace Roof and it will be an improvement because there is no way their defense can be any worse than it has been over the last two seasons, despite the fact they won the national championship in 2010. Replacing Malzahn will be a completely different story in that he was the key component to Auburn's coaching staff. After his wife's big mouth cost him any chance of landing the North Carolina and Kansas jobs, I'm sure Gus felt he needed to grab any head coach opening that was available while the getting was good. With that being said, Gus has to feel good about taking over a program that went 10-2 the previous season in his first head coaching gig at the Division I level. As for Auburn, I don't Chizik is looking forward to the next couple of seasons.

Since: Sep 8, 2006
Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:49 am

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

This is the downfall of Gene Chizik. The only reason he got a National Title was bc of Cam Newton and this guy.  He'll be out in 2 seasons.

Since: Oct 14, 2011
Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:12 am

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

This man has work with and for a Nutt, put him on suicide watch.

Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: December 14, 2011 12:07 am

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

Gus Malzhan to Arkansas State, seems he and his wife had a little too much baggage to land a BCS gig. What a shame for his talents as an offensive coach are top notch. The problems they created at Arkansas and then at Auburn were just a little to much for any major program to take a chance on him. He even had to take a good sized pay cut to get the head coaching gig at Arkansas State. Good thing I guess is he is back home for it was in the eastern part of Arkansas that he got started in the High School ranks, Jonesboro is only 100 or so miles from his beginnings. Good luck ASU, maybe things will be okay after all.

Since: Aug 22, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:22 pm

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

Talk about a step down!  You go from The OC at Auburn, to the head coach at Arkansas State.  The Malzahn family is truly unique.

Since: Feb 28, 2008
Posted on: December 13, 2011 11:21 pm

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

Something is about to blow up at Auburn.  Gus turned down $2 million a year from vandy last season and was 1 of the hottest coaches in the Country last yar and now going to coach at Arkansas State for $600k.  Really?  Why is no one shocked over this.  He is making his big move to the Sun Belt.....  Something is going on. 

Since: Dec 6, 2011
Posted on: December 13, 2011 10:42 pm

Report: Arkansas State hires Gus Malzahn

As an Auburn fan, I hate to see Gus go but he has earned it. I wish him the best at Arkansas State...

*officially has another team to root for*

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