NEW YORK — Athletics director Jay Jacobs said Friday that Auburn will do everything it can to keep offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn with the Tigers next season.
"No doubt about it," he said. "That's what we're going to do."
But Jacobs acknowledged that an opportunity might be too good for Malzahn to pass up. A report late Thursday night by the Tennessean said Malzahn has met with Vanderbilt about its vacant head coaching position and that the Commodores are willing to go as high as $3 million a year to get his services.
"You get to a point where if you have an opportunity to be a head coach at a BCS college, it's a tough thing not to do sometimes," Jacobs said. "But we'll certainly do what we think is right, certainly for what Gus has done and means to this program."
Jacobs said he didn't know how many schools have inquired about Malzahn's interest in being their head coach. He said it was something that usually goes through the head coach, in this case Gene Chizik.
Jacobs said Auburn has prepared its coaches for this situation, though, putting them through mock interviews this summer.
"Historically we haven't had a lot of guys become head football coaches," Jacobs said. "And we've done some things to promote them. So we're happy for the opportunity he is getting and others. But if it's not the right fit for him at this time, then we'll do what we can to keep him at Auburn. If it's close we want to do what's right."
Chizik and Malzahn were not available for comment Friday, although both are expected to be in attendance for the Heisman Trophy ceremony tomorrow.
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