Malzahn is the man at Auburn

By John Burns

Gus Malzahn, former Auburn offensive coordinator and head coach of Arkansas State, was announced as the new Auburn football head coach today.

Auburn athletics held a press conference Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. that featured Malzahn along with other Auburn notables such as Jay Jacobs, Jay Gouge, Bo Jackson and Pat Sullivan.

The new head coach and the others made it perfectly clear that Malzahn was hired for one reason: to bring integrity, success on and off the field, and championships to Auburn.

“It’s an honor that they chose me,” Malzahn said. “I don’t take that lightly. I will do everything in my power for the Auburn Tigers to be successful. Our players are going to be great examples for this university, on and off the field. They’re going to be men of character. That’s the first thing that I expect of them, and winning will take care of itself.”

Malzahn said he knows that winning will not just take care of itself, but pointed out that getting the players’ heads in the right place is the first step to the ultimate goal of winning.

This season, Auburn fans watched in misery as their team seemed inept on both sides of the football, so Malzahn spoke on what changes he intends to bring to the style of play.

“We will have a fast-paced offense. I believe in this day and time it’s a great advantage,” Malzahn said. “We will run the football, and that will be our staple. We are a run, play action team. We will have a defense that is attacking. These days, (with) these spread offenses and the things they do, you’ve got to have a multiple defense, and we will be attacking in all areas.”

Malzahn was selected by a committee consisting of Bo Jackson, Pat Sullivan, Jay Jacobs and Mac Crawford. Jacobs said that Malzahn was Auburn’s first choice and that the committee voted unanimously to hire the former offensive coordinator as the new head coach.

Consequently, Jacobs had nothing but the highest of praise for the new coach.

“We laid out three criteria,” Jacobs said. “One is who can win? He’s consistently done that everywhere he’s been. He won the national championship here as offensive coordinator. The other is we were looking for a person who can continue the high excellence of not only athletic but academic success of our football team … Thirdly, he’s a great ambassador for Auburn. He represents character, integrity, the same things that wrap the (Auburn) Creed up. That’s why he was a unanimous decision.”

Malzahn said he knows there is a lot of work to do, but that he is looking forward to doing it and ready to get Auburn back on track and winning football games.

“It will be fun for our fans, and we will get this thing turned around,” Malzahn said. “My goal for this is to … play championship football like Auburn expects.”

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