Gus Malzahn back at Auburn as head coach

6:20 PM, Dec 4, 2012   |    comments
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by From staff reports, USA TODAY


Arkansas State coach and former Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is Auburn's next head football coach, the school said Tuesday afternoon.

A news conference to officially introduce Malzahn, 47, is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET Tuesday.

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to become the head football coach at Auburn University. It's an outstanding institution with a storied football program that I had the pleasure of experiencing first-hand for three years," Malzahn said in a statement released by Auburn.

Known for his spread, no-huddle offense, Malzahn had great success at Arkansas State this season, leading the Red Wolves to a 9-3 record, the Sun Belt championship and a berth in the GoDaddy.com Bowl next month against Kent State. Arkansas State ranks 17th in the nation in total offense (481.8 yards) and tied for 21st in scoring (36.4).

Malzahn served as Auburn's offensive coordinator from 2009 to 2011 including 2010 when the Tigers went 14-0, won the 2010 BCS title - the first national title in 53 years for the program - and quarterback Cam Newton won the Heisman Trophy.

Under Malzahn, Auburn was ranked 16th in the nation in total offense in 2009, seventh in 2010 and dropped down to 100th in a down year in 2011. Despite the enormous drop from 2010 to 2011, the Tigers still managed 182.3 rushing yards per game, nearly 34 yards more than this season.

Auburn averaged an SEC-worst 305 yards per game and finished 115th in total offense, 113th in scoring (18.67), 112th in passing (156.6 yards) and 78th in rushing (148.4 yards) this season.

"Gus Malzahn is a proven winner," Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs said in a statement. "He is without question one of the brightest minds in college football and he has won everywhere he has been. Coach Malzahn knows what it takes to build a championship program in the Southeastern Conference. He knows our state and region and he understands what it will take to turn our program around."

Contributing: James Crepea, The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser

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