Dec. 11, 2013
Gus Malzahn found reasons to smile at the SEC title game (USA Today photo)
By Charles Goldberg
AUBURN, Ala. — Dust off the trophy case. Here comes Gus Malzahn.
Malzahn, in his first year as Auburn's coach, was named the Home Depot national coach of the year Wednesday. He'll be presented the award at the Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday at 6 p.m. Central time on ESPN.
He's a finalist for three other national awards, making the finals of the Bobby Bowden Coach of the Year Award on Wednesday, and could have more national awards than that before the award season is done.
He was named the SEC coach of the year by the AP on Monday. The SEC coaches will name their coach of the year Wednesday. He is the third coach in SEC history to win an SEC title in his first year at a school, joining Bernie Moore at LSU in 1935 and John Vaught at Ole Miss in 1947.
He's a logical choice after for the honors. He turned last season's 3-9 record into a 12-1 mark, an SEC title and a trip to the BCS national championship game on Jan. 6 against Florida State.
Malzahn is also a finalist for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year, the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year and now the Bobby Bowden award. The nominees for the Bowden award are Malzahn, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher, Duke's David Cutcliffe, Baylor's Art Briles and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio.
His offense has carried him that far this season. Auburn leads the NCAA in rushing and is in the Top 10 in total offense.
Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at AuburnTigers.com. Follow him on Twitter: Follow @AUGoldMine