The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

December 4, 2012

Auburn hires ex-assistant Malzahn as head coach

(Continued)

"We are tremendously excited that Gus Malzahn will be our next head football coach," athletic director Jay Jacobs said. "Coach Malzahn was the clear unanimous choice of our search committee, and I am pleased that Dr. Gogue has accepted our recommendation. This is a great day for Auburn football and Auburn University."

The search committee was comprised of Jacobs, Auburn Heisman Trophy winners Pat Sullivan and Bo Jackson and former Tigers player Mac Crawford.

Auburn owes more than $11 million in buyouts to Chizik and his coaching staff. Malzahn's contract and salary information was not immediately available.

The Tigers are hoping he can return them to success after a winless SEC season.

"Gus Malzahn is a proven winner," Jacobs said. "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. Coach Malzahn will also be an outstanding ambassador for Auburn University, and that was important to the committee."

The NCAA has been investigating the recruitment of signee Jovon Robinson, who was ruled ineligible after a guidance counselor admitted to creating a fake transcript.

The Tigers badly struggled in a transition to Scot Loeffler's pro-style last season, starting three quarterbacks.

Auburn was ranked in the top seven in rushing, total and scoring offense in 2010 and Newton won the Heisman Trophy in his lone season out of the junior college ranks. It was the Tigers' first national title since 1957.

Without Newton, the Tigers slipped to 100th in total offense in 2011 and then dipped even further.

The hiring reunites Malzahn with the quarterback he recruited out of Arkansas. Kiehl Frazier was benched last season after struggling as the starter. He was USA Today's national offensive player of the year as a high school senior.

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