Dec. 28, 2008
Gus Malzahn, who has served as the assistant head coach and co-offensive coordinator as well as quarterbacks coach at the University of Tulsa the previous two seasons, has been named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Auburn, announced head coach Gene Chizik Sunday.
During his two seasons at Tulsa, Malzahn's offenses have been among the nation's finest, ranking first nationally in total offense in 2007 and second in 2008. Prior to his arrival at Tulsa, Malzahn was the offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Arkansas in 2006.
"This is an exciting opportunity to coach at Auburn, get involved with the Auburn family and work for Coach Chizik," Malzahn said. "I can't wait to get to Auburn and get started."
Two of Malzahn's three offenses have ranked in the top 10 nationally in rushing, including the 2008 Tulsa team that is eighth averaging 254.9 yards per game, and his 2006 Arkansas offense that was fourth nationally (228.5 ypg) behind Heisman Trophy runner-up Darren McFadden and fellow All-American Felix Jones.
Under his direction, the 2008 Tulsa offense is averaging 565.1 yards per game and 47.4 points per games, both second nationally. Entering their bowl game, the Hurricane offense is first in the country in third down conversion percentage (57.7 pct.) and yards per play (7.29 ypp) and is also seventh nationally in passing offense (310.2 ypg).
In 2007, Malzahn's first Tulsa offense ranked as the nation's top offense, gaining 543.9 yards per game. The Hurricane also led Conference USA in passing, scoring, touchdown passes and passing efficiency, while ranking third nationally for passing, fifth for pass efficiency and 10th for scoring offense.
"Gus is one of the great offensive minds in college football and we are very excited to having him join the Auburn staff," Chizik said. "His track record at all levels of coaching is remarkable and his offenses have been extremely successful both running and passing the ball. It's truly impressive that he oversees an offense that is in the top 10 nationally in all five major offensive statistical categories. We're looking forward to having Gus on board."
Tulsa's offense in 2007 established nine team school records and 12 individual records. The Hurricane also set nine Conference USA team records, while Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith established new C-USA single-season marks for total yards, TDs responsible for, passing yards and TD passes.
A Fort Smith, Ark., native, Malzahn will join the Auburn staff after Tulsa's GMAC Bowl game versus Ball State on Jan. 6 in Mobile.
Malzahn spent the 2006 season as offensive coordinator and receivers coach at Arkansas. During his tenure, the Razorbacks finished with a 10-4 record, were SEC West Division Champions and were ranked 15th nationally.
Under Malzahn's direction, Arkansas not only had the nation's fourth-ranked rushing offense, but also ranked among the top-35 nationally in total offense and scoring offense. He was named the Rivals.com National Offensive Coordinator of the Year in 2006.
Malzahn spent 14 seasons as a successful Arkansas High School head coach, from 1991-2005, where he led five teams to the state championship game and won three titles.
Before becoming a college coach at Arkansas in 2006, Malzahn was the head coach at Springdale High School for five years (2001-05). He led the Bulldogs to two state championship game appearances, 2002 and 2005. Malzahn's 2005 team posted a 14-0 record, won the state's Class 5A championship, outscored its opponents 664-118 and was ranked among the top-10 teams in the country.
Prior to his stint at Springdale, Malzahn coached five years at Shiloh Christian High School where he transformed that program into one of the most dynamic offensive prep squads in the nation. He led the Saints to back-to-back state championships in 1998 and 1999.
On the prep level, Malzahn coached two quarterbacks, Josh Floyd and Rhett Lashley at Shiloh Christian High School, both of whom set national passing records. Malzahn also tutored 2005 Gatorade, Parade Magazine and Rivals.com National Player of the Year Mitch Mustain at Springdale High School.
Malzahn began his coaching career in 1991 at Hughes High School, where he stayed for five seasons including the final four years as the head coach. In 1992, Malzahn became the head coach and in 1994 his team reached the state championship game.
Malzahn, 43, earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Henderson State (Ark.) in 1990. He and his wife, Kristi, have two daughters, Kylie and Kenzie.