Auburn coach Gus Malzahn has gone from being handsomely rewarded with a new contract to getting the "vote of confidence" from his athletic director.
Athletic director Allen Greene told reporters on Tuesday that Malzahn will be the head coach of the Tigers next season and added that he was the program's "coach of the future." These comments come as Malzahn catches criticism for a season that started in the top-10 and currently has Auburn at 3-3 in conference play.
Allen Greene started his post as Auburn's AD in January 2018, after the school agreed to a new seven-year, $49 million contract with Malzahn. Arkansas was looking for a new head coach at the time, and the fact that Malzahn was coming off home wins against No. 1 Georgia and No. 1 Alabama put him in a great spot to receive a favorable deal. Greene's comments reflect the reality: Auburn is all-in on the Gus Malzahn experience.
Malzahn's best teams, in 2013 and 2017, were playing championship-caliber football by this point in the season and critics calling for a change are reacting to a product that has not performed to that standard. It's tough enough to always be measuring yourself against Alabama, but Alabama right now is just a different animal. There have been positives this year -- Auburn was a kick away from beating LSU and is coming off a win against Texas A&M -- but the Tigers have to beat both Georgia and Alabama again (both on the road) in order to avoid finishing 7-5.
Auburn plays at Georgia on Saturday night.