Dec. 9, 2013
Gus Malzahn, named AP's SEC coach of the year Monday, is in line for national awards, too (AP photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Gus Malzahn's candidacy for coach of the year honors picked up steam Monday.
He was named the SEC Coach of the Year on Monday by the Associated Press. And the Auburn coach, who has engineered a turnaround that matches the biggest in college football history, was named a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award on Monday as well. He's also a finalist for the Home Depot Coach of the Year Award. The winner of that will be announced this week. He is expected to be named a finalist Tuesday for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award and figures to be a contender for other coach of the year awards.
"It's been a lot of fun to coach this group, and they have come a very long way," Malzahn said Sunday.
Auburn, 3-9 a year ago without Malzahn, is 12-1 this season and has a spot in the BCS Championship Game against Florida State on Jan. 6 in Pasadena. Auburn won the SEC champions Saturday with a 59-42 win over Missouri.
Malzahn said Auburn's simple approach to improve every game paid off.
"We really never went into the fact of how many wins or this bowl or that bowl. It was really about us trying to improve. We look up and we're playing for the national championship, and it's really something."
The winner of the Robinson award will be announced Dec. 16. The finalists are Malzahn, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Duke's David Cutcliffe, Michigan State's Mark Dantonio, Central Florida's George O'Leary, Missouri's Gary Pinkel and Stanford's David Shaw.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine