The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

December 4, 2012

Auburn hires ex-assistant Malzahn as head coach



AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — Auburn has turned to Gus Malzahn to restore a program that made an unprecedented fall two years after winning a national title with Cam Newton operating his high-powered offense to perfection.

The school announced that it will introduce the former Arkansas State coach in a news conference Tuesday night.

Malzahn was the Tigers' offensive coordinator during their 2010 national championship run before heading to Arkansas State for his first college head coaching position.

He led the Red Wolves to a 9-3 record, a Sun Belt Conference title and a berth in the GoDaddy.com Bowl then parlayed that into a job in the powerhouse Southeastern Conference.

"It's an outstanding institution with a storied football program that I had the pleasure of experiencing firsthand for three years," Malzahn said in a statement. He thanked school representatives for their confidence "in my ability to turn this program around and to bring Auburn back to national prominence. This is a homecoming for me and I look forward to being reunited with the Auburn family."

Malzahn, 47, returns with his fast-paced, no-huddle offensive style. He replaces former boss Gene Chizik, who was fired one day after a 49-0 loss to No. 2 Alabama to complete a 3-9 season.

Before his arrival at Auburn in 2009, Malzahn had spent two seasons as Tulsa's offensive coordinator. He was the offensive coordinator at Arkansas for one year after a successful run in the Arkansas high school ranks.

Auburn had the nation's 115th-ranked offense last season, averaging 305 yards a game. The Red Wolves were ranked 19th in total yards under Malzahn.

It's the second straight time Auburn has turned to one of its coordinators from an unbeaten team. Chizik ran the defense for the 13-0 team in 2004 but was hired by the Tigers despite a 5-19 record in two seasons at Iowa State.

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