Auburn's Malzahn: 'I am tickled to death to be here'

Dec. 16, 2013

Gus Malzahn says he’s happy to be Auburn’s head coach (Todd Van Emst photo)

By Phillip Marshall

AUBURN, Ala. – As speculation swirled that he could be a candidate to replace Mack Brown as head coach at Texas, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn reaffirmed his commitment to Auburn on Monday.

Asked about reports that he might be “a good fit” for other jobs, Malzahn responded forcefully.

"I am a good fit for the Auburn Tigers,” Malzahn said. “That’s why I signed a contract the day before the SEC Championship. Like I said before, I am tickled to death to be here.”

Malzahn took over as Auburn head coach last December and guided the Tigers to a 12-1 record and the Southeastern Conference championship. They returned to practice Monday to begin preparations for their Jan. 6 game against Florida State in the BCS Championship Game.

On Thursday night before Auburn beat Missouri 59-42 in the SEC Championship Game, Malzahn agreed to a new six-year contract that will pay him $3.85 million the first year and increase by $250,000 each year. On the following day, Malzahn signed a letter of agreement.

Malzahn, who has won 19 of their last 20 games dating back to last season at Arkansas State, said that keeping his staff together will be a top priority, meaning his assistants will likely be in line for hefty raises.

 “I’m going to do everything in my power to keep our staff together,” Malzahn said.

Malzahn’s new agreement came from an impromptu meeting with Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs. But, despite Malzahn’s insistence that he is committed to Auburn, his name surfaced almost immediately after Brown announced his resignation on Saturday.


Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for Follow Marshall on Twitter: