AP source: Auburn hires Gus Malzahn as head coach
AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — A person familiar with the decision says Auburn has hired Gus Malzahn as head coach.
The person said Malzahn will be introduced later Tuesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the school had not announced the hire.
Malzahn was the offensive coordinator during the Tigers' national championship run in 2010, but spent last season at Arkansas State in his first college head coaching position. He led the Red Wolves to a 9-3 record, a Sun Belt Conference title and a berth in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.
Malzahn returns with his fast-paced, no-huddle offensive style that quarterback Cam Newton operated to perfection two seasons ago.
A few quick observations:
First, this hire appears to be harshly dividing the Auburn fan base. A very large and quite vocal faction badly wanted the school to hire disgraced former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino. However, reports indicated that he was only given a courtesy "interview" yesterday and was never offered the job.
Secondly, this pretty much means that Malzahn is highly confident that no significant penalties will result from the current and ongoing NCAA investigation into the football program's recruiting practices. You may agree or disagree that they skate, but no ambitious head coach would jeopardize his future knowingly walking into a Ground Zero of an NCAA bomb target.
Last of all, a column appeared on this site about a year ago, extolling the virtues of Malzahn taking the Arkansas State job as the "Feel Good Story of the Year." With Malzahn apparently deciding that the money was just too much, how naive does that narrative sound?
We like our crow slow smoked, please.