The SEC coaching carousel kicked into high gear yesterday, with Texas A&M firing Kevin Sumlin and Dan Mullen making the move from Mississippi State to Florida. Tennessee reportedly agreed to hire Greg Schiano, then didn’t amidst fan backlash. All that news came days after Arkansas fired head coach Bret Bielema moments after he walked off the field Friday night. But as news continues to swirl around SEC coaches, it doesn’t appear as if Auburn’s Gus Malzahn intends for his name to be mentioned. Asked directly on a conference call last night if he was committed to coaching the Tigers in 2018, Malzahn said, “Yeah, “I’m honored to be the head coach here at Auburn,” he continued. “We’re playing for the SEC Championship, and I’m excited to be the head coach here.” The questions have come up because of the opening at Arkansas and Malzahn’s ties to the state. He was a walk-on receiver for the Razorbacks in college, began his coaching career in the high school ranks not far down the road from Fayetteville, Ark., and broke into the college ranks as Arkansas’ offensive coordinator in 2006.
Last week, Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated reported that big-money boosters close to the Arkansas program were pushing the school to go after Malzahn as a replacement for Bielema. Malzahn seemed to put those rumors officially to rest this weekend. Asked a similar question after Saturday’s 26-14 win over Alabama, he said “We’re fixing to play for the SEC Championship,” and added, “I don’t get into rumors.”
Malzahn’s current contract, which pays him $4.725 million annually, runs through 2020.
Including this year’s games, Malzahn is 45-20 during his five-season tenure at Auburn and has led the program to two SEC West titles, one SEC crown and one national championship berth.