If you are an Auburn Tigers fan, you can go right ahead and cancel all of those GoFundMe pages and stash away the coaching hot boards and pipe dreams for another year. Whether you like it or not, the hot seat doesn’t exist because head coach Gus Malzahn isn’t going anywhere.
Perhaps it’s the fact a 6-3 season isn’t so terrible, despite such lofty and robust College Football Playoff expectations in the preseason. Maybe a $32 million buyout has something to do with it, too. Regardless, Tigers athletic director Allen Greene has given his public vote of confidence that Malzahn is Auburn’s “coach of the future.”
“He’ll be the coach next year, and I’m confident that he’s going to — he’s already proven that we can get through adversity,” Greene told AL.com. “Every team has it, and I’m looking forward to working with him for a long time.”
The decision has been made, but that’s not going to change the level of disgust from a fan base which has seen a preseason top-10 team slip out of the AP Top 25 and definitely a New Year’s Six bowl game barring a little bit of a miracle at No. 6 Georgia on Saturday and at No. 1 Alabama to close out the regular season.
The 53-year-old Malzahn, who is in the first year of a new seven-year, $49 million contract awarded after last season to make him one of the highest-paid coaches in the country, is 51-25 overall in five-plus seasons with the Tigers and wants to move forward in a positive direction.
“Me and Allen, we talk quite a bit. Of course, I’ve said this before, we’re having a tough year this year, but we have an opportunity to finish strong. But I will say this: The future is very bright, and I’m excited to be the coach here.” — Auburn Tigers head coach Gus Malzahn, via SEC media teleconference
So what if it’s been a roller coaster year or that Auburn might potentially snap its impressive 1,000-yard rusher streak? Be disappointed all you want for believing the hype too much, but don’t sleep on the fact there are plenty of worse options out there than Malzahn.
So, sorry bitter Auburn fans. You are stuck with this coach for a while.
Maybe a win this weekend would change your mind?