April 2, 2014
Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and players from the 2013 team with House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Rep. Elaine Beech (Lauren Barnard photo)
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. – The comeback season that was 2013 is in the rearview mirror for Auburn’s football team and head coach Gus Malzahn, but the honors continue to come.
Malzahn and the 2013 Southeastern Conference champion Tigers were recognized Tuesday with resolutions from the Alabama Legislature.
Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R-Auburn) joined Rep. Elaine Beech (D-Chatom), Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) and Sen. Clay Scofield (R - Red Hill) in presenting resolutions Malzahn and members of the Auburn football team that went 12-2 and lost in the final seconds to Florida State in the BCS Championship Game.
Hubbard, who worked in the Auburn sports information office and started the Auburn Network, said the honors were well-earned by the team that rebounded from a 3-9 season in 2012.
“It’s an honor for me to represent Auburn, first of all,” Hubbard said. “It’s a thrill for me to represent Auburn University in the Legislature. To have a day like this when you can make a presentation to Coach Malzahn and the team is special. Auburn means so much to the state of Alabama economically and from a pride standpoint.
“I’m biased, but I think Auburn is the greatest institution in the state and in the country. We are really blessed in this state to have Auburn and what it means to us from an economic standpoint. There is no telling the impact Auburn football has on the entire state of Alabama.”
Beech, an Auburn graduate, said Auburn’s football team earned recognition with “excellence against all odds.”
“Who would have thought you’d be here?” Beech said. “It’s a great day. I cried at every ballgame, every time we won.”
Major Gen. Perry Smith, an Auburn graduate and the commander of the Alabama National Guard, was on hand with another honor. Malzahn was named an honorary colonel in the Alabama Volunteer Guard.
Malzahn, who was named Auburn head coach in December 2012, said a team effort led to the Tigers equaling the greatest turnaround in college football history.
“Anytime you get awards, you have to remember we have a great staff,” Malzahn said. “We really wanted our staff and players to come together, and they did.”
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: