Gus Malzahn Third SEC Coach Fired in 2020by Celeste Sabin December 14, 2020 0 comments
On Sunday afternoon Gus Malzahn became the third SEC head coach to lose his job in 2020. It was a common misconception head coaching jobs would be safe this year. Most thought the conference-only schedule and players being permitted to opt-out due to Covid-19 would keep the coaches safe from losing their jobs as well.
However, this theory was tossed out the window when the South Carolina Gamecocks fired Will Muschamp. Vanderbilt followed suit and relieved Derek Mason of his head coaching duties. Muschamp has already been replaced by Shane Beamer, while Mason’s vacancy has yet to be filled.
Malzahn’s History With Auburn
Malzahn started his collegiate coaching career in 2006, where he spent a year as the offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach at Arkansas. He then spent two seasons with Tulsa before becoming the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Auburn in 2009. Malzahn left Auburn to become the head coach at Arkansas State and returned to Auburn in 2013 to become their next head coach.
Malzahn’s record with Auburn is 68-35. In his first year as head coach, Malzahn led the Tigers to defeat Alabama in the annual rivalry game, the Iron Bowl, and that victory cemented Auburn’s SEC West title. They would go on to defeat the Missouri Tigers in the SEC Championship Game.
In December of 2013, it was announced the Tigers would face the Florida State Seminoles in the 2014 BCS Championship Game. Ultimately Florida State defeated Auburn, 34-32.
Fast forward to 2017, when Malzahn again led the Tigers to the SEC Championship Game, however, this time they were defeated by the Georgia Bulldogs. Following the season, Malzahn signed a seven-year $49 million contract extension with Auburn.
Unfortunately Auburn didn’t fare so well in the following three seasons and after Auburn finished this season 6-4, Allen Greene, the athletic director of Auburn University released a statement, that in part reads:
“After evaluating the state of the Auburn football program, we’ve decided that it was time to make a chanage in leadership. We appreciate everthing that Gus did for the program over the last eight seasons.”
There is plenty of speculation as to who should fill the vacancy at Auburn and it seems as if Hugh Freeze is the fan-favorite. Billy Napier, Lane Kiffin, and Steve Sarkisian are also contenders for the spot.
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