Video: Gus Malzahn Wastes No Time In Getting ASU Red Wolves To Think ‘Big-Time'

by Chris Bahn  on Tuesday, Jul. 17, 2012 12:00 am  

Arkansas State head football coach Gus Malzahn returns to his home state. (Photo by Mark Wagner)

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Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris is was a high school coach in Texas when he visited Malzahn at Springdale High and uses many of the principles today that he learned in 2002. Morris, who recently became the highest paid offensive coordinator in college football at $1.5 million a year, describes Malzahn’s philosophy as “cutting edge.”

A system ridiculed in 2006 by some Arkansas staff members as “high school” is now widely respected. Malzahn will admit — with some prodding — that he gets a sense of satisfaction in seeing his offense used at all levels of football.

“It’s fun to watch, you know?” Malzahn said.

Big Dreams

Malzahn has proven his offensive philosophy can work at the college level. Now he gets to test his overall vision for building and sustaining a FBS program.

Arkansas State enjoyed its best season in decades by winning 10 and appearing in the Bowl. Entering the bowl the Red Wolves were just outside the Top 25.

Malzahn envisions a team that routinely wins the Sun Belt. He’s made no secret of his desire to get the program consistently ranked.

Little in ASU’s history as a FBS program suggests prolonged success is possible.

Of course little in Hughes’ history suggested a trip to the 1994 title game was possible. Bradley heard Malzahn talk and saw it materialize into the school’s deepest playoff run ever.

Plenty were skeptical when he decided to scrap a more traditional offense at Shiloh Christian in favor of the hurry-up, no-huddle offense. Eventually, it led to national notoriety on the convention circuit, a book/video deal and, eventually, a college coaching career.

Lashlee heard the vision for a national program at Shiloh Christian, a tiny private school in Northwest Arkansas. He was part of making that a reality, then worked as a graduate assistant when Malzahn put together record-setting offenses at Arkansas and Auburn.



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