No one imagined that one coach could take a horrible team and almost turn them into a national champion, even if there were some major flaws. Gus Malzahn almost did that in one season, but the last couple of seasons saw major expectations go down the drain. The retooling of the coaching staff and the struggle at quarterback seemed to look to hamper his future after next season. Even with the major failure of the “dream team” which consisted of now former defensive coordinator and current South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp, the higher ups must still have some faith left in him. Or do they?
It was reported on Monday that Auburn and Malzahn agreed to a contract extension, but was signed on April 1st. Malzahn was under contract through 2019, but now has one more added on, allowing him to make $4.275 million per year. If Malzahn had been a lot more successful the last couple of seasons, I can see the logic of giving him one. Nick Saban had been way more successful to earn the ones he’s had the last several years. So even with the failed expectations, why give him a contract extension, even if it’s for another year?
In my honest opinion, there’s got to be a trick somewhere. From where I’ve read, Malzahn’s buyout is now close to $9 million dollars. When LSU attempted somewhat to get rid of Les Miles last season, his buyout was believed to be around that area, if not higher. At the start of the 2016 season, Malzahn would’ve had three years left. Beating Alabama and winning the SEC makes a lot sense giving him more than a one year extension. To me it sounds like a setup, or as they say, it’s part of the business to keep SEC coaches happy regardless.
Muschamp and Mark Richt were pretty much victims of this in Florida and Georgia.After Muschamp’s arrival, it was expected to be a whole lot more improvement except for the quarterback situation and Muschamp’s so-called “Boom” defense didn’t live up to expectations. Muschamp must have thought he was still at Florida when he went off on officials during the Iron Bowl last season. With half of his staff departed, even former alumni, you know something has to be up.
Malzahn is one of three coaches that come to mind that are on the hot seat in 2016 in the SEC. Could be more, you’ll just have to look at the circumstances a little more deeper. But it’s a no doubter that Malzahn is on that list, and his so called one year extension is a possible trap. Not only for Malzahn’s job, but Auburn’s deep pockets too
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Bryan Law