It was not too long ago that Auburn University’s new athletic director Allen Greene all but guaranteed that head coach Gus Malzahn’s job was safe leading the Tigers’ football program. Even Malzahn himself said after the Iron Bowl that he felt like his job was safe.
Well, someone must have forgotten to tell other members of the Auburn football family that because it looks like that Malzahn’s job might not be safe after all.
According to several reporters, including Josh Moon of the Alabama Reporter, some big movers and shakers within the university want Malzahn gone, and they are willing to buy out his contract.
There are also reports that there is an interested party to interview and take over the Auburn Tigers football program, and that’s former Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops.
Now, with speculation swirling across Auburn University, there are is no concrete details from the school itself, and Stoops has denied the story when it came out. That doesn’t mean the rumors aren’t true, though.
A lot of times when teams are looking to hire a new head coach, it normally happens after the season. Also, they could be in the middle of negotiations with Malzahn to see how much of that $49 million contract they will have to buyout before he leaves.
Since becoming the head coach at Auburn, Malzahn has had up and down seasons. Last year, his team won the SEC West, beat both of rivals back-to-back in Alabama and Georgia, yet the team lost to Georgia the following week in the SEC Championship game before finally ending the season losing to UCF in the Peach Bowl.
There were reports earlier this season that Malzahn was on the verge of being fired if his team didn’t defeat Ole Miss, but things seemed to have settled down after the Tigers’ victory.
Now, it appears Malzahn will be allowed to stay at Auburn as their head coach until next season after taking a significant reduction to his buyout.
Auburn has a history of giving coaches big contracts only to fire them and have to continue to pay them after they are gone.
They also have a history of pursuing other coaches before they fire their current coach. They did that over a decade ago when they pursued then-Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino, while Tommy Tuberville was still the head football coach.
It also sounds like Malzahn will have to make changes to his staff as well, so it looks like there will be no head coaching changes in Auburn… at least for now.