Speaking Out: A Roundup Of Early Reaction To Arkansas State Hiring Auburn's Gus Malzahn

by Chris Bahn  on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011 8:10 am  

Gus Malzahn leaving Auburn for Arkansas State has sparked reaction throughout college football media.

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

Gus Malzahn to Arkansas State is happening.

Malzahn, the Auburn offensive coordinator, will be named the Red Wolves head coach at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. A press conference is set for the ASU Convocation Center.

Before the official announcement, the move already has garnered regional and national media reaction. Below we offer a Speaking Out roundup of reaction to Malzahn’s move:


In what might be the most surprising hire of the 2011 coaching carousel, Arkansas State has hired away coveted Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn as the Red Wolves' new head football coach.

Barrett Sallee, College Football News

You will hear a lot of talk that Malzahn’s decision is an indication that Auburn is a “sinking ship.” That’s also lazy. This is more about ego.

The pace of Auburn’s offense — which is a point of pride for Malzahn — clearly slowed down before Auburn’s win over South Carolina, after it became obvious that the defense clearly couldn’t handle the quick turnarounds. The more conservative approach worked vs. the Gamecocks, but as the season progressed, that plan backfired. Not only was the defense awful, but the offense became equally as listless.

Is Arkansas State the caliber of job as Vanderbilt? No. Malzahn made a bad decision passing on bigger jobs last offseason, and he’ll probably be the first to admit that. But that doesn’t mean that this job in and of itself is baffling. It’s a head coaching job where he can find out if he’s capable of doing this on the FBS level, and it’s in his home state of Arkansas. You can never underestimate the importance of going home.


Four things may be at play here:

1.  Malzahn — a Fort Smith native — wants to get back to his Arkansas roots.

2.  Malzahn truly believes ASU gives him the best chance to win and further his career.

3.  Malzahn realizes that his stock has fallen since Cam Newton departed and he’d better get while the getting is good.



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