University of Central Florida football coach Gus Malzahn had much to say about his long coaching career when he gave a keynote speech at the conclusion of the Arkansas Trucking Association annual conference May 12 at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
Unfortunately for many in the audience — including his wife, Kristi — Malzahn did not elaborate on his infamous departure from the University of Arkansas, after he had served as offensive coordinator under Houston Nutt in 2006.
Malzahn, a celebrated high school coach in the state, left Arkansas amid controversy between himself and the coaching staff, to go to Tulsa. He later served as head coach at Arkansas State University and Auburn before landing at UCF in Orlando.
Malzahn has never publicly commented on his acrimonious departure. He merely said his year at Arkansas got “a little complicated toward the end.”
That didn’t satisfy the crowd and when Malzahn took questions at the end of his speech, one audience member almost begged him for “any tidbit” about why he left the Razorbacks.
Kristi Malzahn, Gus’ wife since 1988 and as outspoken as her husband is guarded publicly, immediately volunteered to answer, drawing a laugh from the crowd.
“No, we’re not asking Kristi,” Malzahn said. “It has been a while, but the dynamics of that whole thing was really tough. It was very, very complicated. I learned a lot. I learned a lot about me. I learned a lot about college football.
“I don’t have any hard feelings. It gave me an opportunity to get [in] college football. At this point, I just look back at it as good memories. I still have a lot of good relationships with those players.”
Gus Malzahn then asked Kristi how he did answering the question.
“Terrible,” Kristi Malzahn said, which got even her husband to laugh.