An offensive mastermind who learned the tricks of his trade at the prep football level in Arkansas from 1991 to 2005, Gus Malzahn has since blossomed into one of college football’s brightest stars, a true miracle-worker on the Plains in recent years at Auburn.
Malzahn took the Tigers from worst to first as an SEC rookie head coach in 2013 when Auburn captured a league championship and appeared in the national title game a year after losing all eight league games — the program’s worst season in 60 years. He won several national coach of the year awards for his accomplishments and brought Auburn football back into the nationwide limelight it last saw while Malzahn was offensive coordinator for Heisman winner Cam Newton and the national champion Tigers in 2010.
Following a two-year stint at Tulsa where he engineered the Hurricanes’ offense into one of the nation’s leading units, Auburn head coach Gene Chizik welcomed Malzahn to his staff in 2009 to sprinkle in some of his no-huddle knowledge as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He enjoyed three years of success before arriving at Arkansas State, his first head coaching job 21 years after he started.
In his only season with the Red Wolves, Malzahn led his team to a conference championship before Auburn came calling, again. It was enough to lure him back, this time as head coach, to rejuvenate a program Chizik left in shambles two years after winning it all.