On Wednesday morning, college football fans learned about the Arkansas State University decision to hire Gus Malzahn to coach the Red Wolves. Malzahn is the 28th head football coach for the team.
Native from Fort Smith, Malzahn is a name widely recognized throughout Arkansas as well as the United States. Last year he got the 2010 Frank Broyles Award for his success as a top collegiate assistant coach. He comes to coach Red Wolves and replace former coach Hugh Freeze.
The Arkansas State University got Malzahn to return to his home state, knowing he will not pass up the opportunity to be a head coach here. The new Red Wolves coach said: “This is where I learned football, from Arkansas high school coaches. I’m not a normal college coach as far as the progression goes”. He added that being in Arkansas is “the right place and the right time”.
According to officials with the Arkansas State University, Malzahn will coach at Auburn through the Chik-Fil-A Bowl on December 31, but he will also begin recruiting and putting a staff together immediately for the Red Wolves (10-2), who face Northern Illinois in the Godaddy.com Bowl on January 8.
Malzahn comes under a five-year contract and an $850,000 a year, a considerable drop from the $1.3 million he made a year at Auburn. At Auburn he became famous with his innovative offense which set nine school records, including points in a season (577), points per game (41.2), total yards (6,989), total offense (499.2), rushing yards (3,987), rushing touchdowns (41) and passing touchdowns (31).
Arkansasstate.scout.com writes that “his innovative offense made an immediate and profound impact during his tenure at Auburn, highlighted by a record-setting offense in 2010”. Last year the Tigers finished 14-0 and succeeded in claiming the school’s first national championship since 1957.
The officials with the university mentioned it was “fortunate to attract a head football coach with the proven talent and personal integrity of Gus Malzahn”. They also pointed out he will “lead the Red Wolves football program through a smooth transition and will work hard to ensure the best possible collegiate experience” for student – athletes.