The way Gus Malzahn tells it, he was prepared to sit out the 2021 season until UCF came calling.

The first-year Knight coach comes to Orlando after serving eight seasons as Auburn’s coach and delivered an opening press conference that would rival any delivered on The Plains in recent seasons when it comes to energy and enthusiasm.

Who knows, getting fired by Auburn may turn out to be the best thing ever for Malzahn.

During his introductory press conference at UCF, Malzahn shared why he jumped at the chance to coach the Orlando-based program following the offer from AD Terry Mohajir.

“Just knowing the situation here and knowing the potential here – and that’s what really got me excited,” Malzahn said on Monday. “Because before even Terry was hired. I was interested. We had eight weeks just to kind of reflect, and until this job come open, I was pretty set on sitting out a year, and just kind of refreshing.

“When this job come open, I told my wife that this is one we’re going to be very interested in. And then when Terry got the athletic director, it was one that I wanted a full-court press. So when he offered the job, and it was like, I’m in. There was no thinking about, I got to talk to… no no no… Extremely excited when I was offered the job.”

Of course, there couldn’t be a Malzahn press conference that didn’t include a question about play-calling.

As he’s similarly stated during his tenure at Auburn, Malzahn is committed to calling the plays for UCF. This time, he went a step further, noting he plans to call the offensive plays for the rest of his career.

“Yeah, I’m gonna answer that, definitely I’m going to call plays. I’ll call plays the rest of my career. That’s what I love to do, that’s what I’m good at, and that’s what got me here.”

Those comments likely sound very familiar to Auburn fans.