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)

This story is from the archives of

“Whatever he does, he wants to do it big and do it better than anybody else,” Lashlee said. “I think whatever he’s done, and for the most part it’s been football, he’s just so determined he’s going to do whatever it takes to succeed.”

(Will Arkansas State reign for a second year atop the Sun Belt Conference? Mickey Ryan looks at the Red Wolves' chances and Rick Harvey looks at ASU's detractors in the digital edition of's 2012 Football Preview.)

Arkansas State caught a glimpse in February of how the approach works. Red Wolves coaches needed less than a month to put together the best recruiting class in school history. They signed 18 players rated three stars or higher by recruiting services, a haul Malzahn was quick to point out would have been welcome at a number of Big 12 or SEC schools.

It’s a group that includes a Parade All-American, an Under Armor game participant and an ESPN Top 150 player. Blend those players with returning starters and it is easy to understand the optimism in Jonesboro.

Still, Malzahn has his detractors.

Some question whether the Red Wolves can be anything more than a one-year wonder. Others hear Malzahn talk of building a program, but doubt he’ll be around long enough to make a long-lasting impact.

From Hughes to Springdale, Arkansas to Auburn, the approach has worked. Malzahn has the wins and records to prove it works.

So when doubters surface, Malzahn isn’t distracted.

“We have big goals and big dreams,” Malzahn said. “I’ve always been a dreamer, whether it’s high school or college I truly believe you set your goals up high. I believe the only people that fail is this world are people that don’t set their goals high enough.

“Sure, there are some funny looks from other people, but I believe setting big goals is contagious. It’s a philosophy that has worked for me.”



Please read our comments policy before commenting.