In four years as head coach at Auburn, Gus Malzahn has led the Tigers to a 35-18 record, four consecutive bowl game, a Southeastern Conference Championship and an appearance in the BCS National Championship Game (2013). Malzahn has directed Auburn to three New Year's Day bowl games in four seasons, a program first since 2004-06.
Malzahn, 44-21 in five seasons as a head coach, has directed teams to six conference championship game appearances in his 11 seasons as a collegiate coach, including a pair of SEC Championships at Auburn (2010, 2013) and a Sun Belt Championship at Arkansas State in 2012.
The 2013 Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden, Eddie Robinson, Home Depot, Sporting News, SB Nation, Liberty Mutual and Associated Press National Coach of the Year, Malzahn earned SEC Coach of the Year honors after guiding Auburn to the biggest turnaround in SEC history.
He led the Tigers to a 12-2 record and one of the most memorable seasons in school history in 2013, with historic wins over Georgia and Alabama and a record-setting SEC Championship win over Missouri. He became just the third coach in SEC history to win an SEC title in his first year at a school, joining LSU's Bernie Moore in 1935 and Ole Miss' John Vaught in 1947.
Last season, Malzahn's team won six consecutive games, the third longest win streak by Auburn over the last 12 years, while finishing second in the nation's most difficult division, the SEC West. Under his direction, the 2016 Tigers ranked in the top 50 nationally in total offense and total defense, an Auburn first since 2005.
Auburn's balance in 2016 was displayed by a team that ranked first in the SEC and sixth nationally in rushing, coupled with a defense that was seventh in the country in scoring defense and 28th in total defense. The special team units have traditionally been a strong point under Malzahn and was no different in 2016 behind the strong leg of All-America and Groza Award finalist kicker Daniel Carlson.
|Hometown||Fort Smith, Ark.|
daughters, Kylie & Kenzie
|2013-Present||Auburn - Head Coach|
|2012||Arkansas State - Head Coach|
|2009-2011||Auburn - Offensive Coord.|
|2007-2008||Tulsa - Offensive Coord.|
|2006||Arkansas - Offensive Coord.|
|2012||Ark. State||Head Coach||9-3|
- Athletics Director Jay Jacobs
"He's a person that you can trust with any type of situation. He has his door open for anybody. But as a coach, he is a person that demands greatness."
- Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton
"We wanted a coach with high character, a coach with great leadership abilities that can attract a staff that would recruit and develop young men in all areas of their life, spiritually, academically, as well as athletically. He exemplifies all these characteristics."
- Heisman Trophy winner Pat Sullivan
In 2015, the youthful Tigers, which lost 14 players to the NFL from the previous season, faced 11 bowl teams en route to a Birmingham Bowl victory over Memphis. Malzahn's 2014 team was ranked in the nation's top 10 for a majority of the season before finishing 8-5 after navigating the nation's most difficult schedule featuring seven ranked foes.
One of the most innovative offensive minds in football, Malzahn's high-powered offense has averaged over 450 yards of total offense and 33.8 points per game in his four seasons at Auburn.
He has produced 14 1,000-yard rushers in 11 seasons as a college coach, at least one in each season, including Heisman Trophy finalist Tre Mason (1,816) and Nick Marshall (1,068) in 2013 and Cameron-Artis Payne (1,608) in 2014. Kamryn Pettway ran for 1,123 yards in 2016 despite missing significant time with injuries.
On three occasions, he has had two 1,000-yard rushers in the same season: 2013 (Auburn), 2010 (Auburn) and 2006 (Arkansas) and this year, in addition to Pettway, Kerryon Johnson notched 862 rushing yards. Malzahn has also coached five 1,000-yard receivers and three 3,000-yard passers. His 2007 Tulsa team had three 1,000-yard receivers.
Since Malzahn's arrival, Auburn has the top rushing offense in the SEC, averaging 262.9 yards per game. In 2013, Auburn led the nation in rushing at 328.3 yards per game, the first SEC team ever to do so. Three of the top six team rushing totals in SEC history (2010, 2013, 2016) have come under Malzahn's leadership.
Auburn was just the second team in SEC history to gain more than 7,000 yards of total offense in a season in 2013, finishing the year with 7,018 yards; the other was Texas A&M in 2012.
The Tigers set a school record with 48 rushing touchdowns in 2013 and set a school record against SEC opponents with 677 yards of total offense vs. No. 5 Missouri in the SEC Championship Game. The Tigers set SEC Championship Game team records with 26 rushing first downs, 74 rushing attempts, 545 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns.
Tre Mason, a Heisman Trophy finalist and SEC Player of the Year in 2013, ranked third in the nation with 23 touchdowns, was fifth nationally with 1,816 yards rushing, sixth with 10.7 points per game, sixth with 169.57 all-purpose yards per game and eighth with 129.7 rushing yards per game. Mason set the Auburn single-season record with 1,816 rushing yards and 2,374 all-purpose yards, is second with 317 rushing attempts. His 46 rushing attempts and 304 rushing yards vs. No. 5 Missouri set SEC Championship Game records and fell three yards shy of the Auburn record.
Four Auburn players were taken in the 2014 NFL Draft, including two first round picks; offensive tackle Greg Robinson No. 2 overall to the St. Louis Rams and defensive end Dee Ford No. 23 to the Kansas City Chiefs. Mason was a third round selection by the Rams while fullback Jay Prosch was a sixth round pick by the Houston Texans.
Malzahn has coached seven All-Americans as head coach at Auburn: running back Tre Mason and return specialist Chris Davis in 2013, center Reese Dismukes in 2014, place kicker Daniel Carlson in 2015 and '16, and defensive linemen Carl Lawson, Montravious Adams and offensive lineman Braden Smith in 2016. Dismukes was named the 2014 Rimington Award winner as the nation's top center and Carlson was a Lou Groza Award finalist in 2015 and `16.
The Tigers have faced the nation's most difficult schedule collectively during Malzahn's four years on the Plains facing 24 ranked opponents, including 12 in the top 10. Auburn is the nation's only program in 2016 to face both the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked programs.
Malzahn has his coaching staff have been highly successful on the recruiting trail, recording five consecutive Top 10 nationally ranked recruiting classes, a first in the program's history.
Academically, Malzahn's Tigers have excelled as over 100 players have graduated since his arrival. In the fall 2016 semester a program-best 56 players posted a 3.0 grade point average.
Malzahn, who won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant coach in 2010 while helping the Tigers to the national title, returned to Auburn after serving as the head coach at Arkansas State in 2012, where he led the program to the Sun Belt Conference title.
As offensive coordinator, Malzahn made an immediate impact during his tenure at Auburn, highlighted by a record-setting offense in 2010 when the Tigers finished 14-0 and claimed the school's first national title since 1957.
Malzahn's arrival in 2009 and style of offense marked a drastic turnaround from the 2008 season when Auburn struggled offensively. In a two-year period, the Tigers improved from a tie for 110th to seventh in the nation in scoring offense (from 17.3 to 41.2) and from 104th to seventh in total offense.
The 2010 Auburn offense set nine school records, while leading the SEC and finished in the top 10 nationally in six statistical categories. He coached Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton, who had one of the best single-season performances at the position in college football history. Newton threw for 2,908 yards and 30 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,586 yards and 20 TDs. Newton, the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, also won the Davey O'Brien, Manning and Maxwell Awards.
During two seasons (2007-08) at Tulsa, Malzahn's offenses were among the nation's finest, ranking first nationally in total offense. Tulsa's offense in 2007 established nine team and 12 individual school records; the 2008 Tulsa offense averaged 569.9 yards per game and was second nationally averaging 47.2 points per games.
Malzahn spent one season at Arkansas as offensive coordinator, coaching Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren McFadden and helping the SEC West champion Razorbacks finish fourth nationally in rushing offense.
Malzahn's coaching career began in his home state of Arkansas at the high school level. In 14 seasons as a high school head coach, Malzahn led seven teams to the state championship game and won three titles. In July 2013, he was inducted into the Arkansas High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Born in Irving, Texas, Malzahn graduated from high school in Fort Smith, Ark., and played football at Arkansas and Henderson State, earning his bachelor's degree from Henderson in 1990.
Malzahn is married to the former Kristi Otwell and they are the parents of two daughters, Kylie and Kenzie.