Malzahn, who turned down a lucrative head coaching offer from Vanderbilt Monday reported to be in the neighborhood of $3 million a year, was rewarded with a contract extension by Auburn that will more than double his yearly salary, making him one of the highest paid assistants in the country.
All of Auburn's coaches, including head coach Gene Chizik, will get raises, which were approved by the university's compensation committee last week, according to the Birmingham News. Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs submitted the pay increases.
The deal is substantially more than any other assistant in an increasingly competitive SEC market. Four defensive coordinators — Georgia's Todd Grantham ($750,000), Alabama's Kirby Smart ($750,000), LSU's John Chavis ($700,000) and South Carolina's Ellis Johnson ($700,000) — were the highest-paid assistants this past year.
Current USC assistant Monte Kiffin had the highest-ever base salary for an SEC coordinator, making $1.2 million at Tennessee in 2009.
"Gus Malzahn has played a large role in the success of our football program the last two years and we're very pleased to be able to give him a raise and extend his contract," Chizik said. "In my opinion we have the best staff in the country, and while we want our coaches to strive to become head coaches, retaining them as long as we can is important to me and the entire Auburn family."
Malzahn will make more money than half of the country's Football Bowl Subdivision head coaches, according to the most recent USA Today coaching salary database.
"I'm very appreciative of coach Chizik and the entire administration for their support," Malzahn said. "My family and I love Auburn and right now my main focus is helping Auburn win a national championship."
Auburn, which faces Oregon in the BCS title game on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz., begins bowl practice on Dec. 18.
The 45-year-old Malzahn became a hot coaching commodity this year after theTigers set a number of school records, leading the SEC in total offense (497.7 ypg), rushing (287.2 ypg) and scoring (42.7 ppg). He won the Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant earlier this month.
Vanderbilt targeted Malzahn as its top choice shortly after deciding to part ways with Robbie Caldwell after one 2-10 season, meeting with him late last week and reportedly upping their offer to around $3 million a year.
The Washington Post reported Sunday night that Malzahn had verbally agreed to the deal, although Vanderbilt officials said that report was not true. Several reports emerged Monday afternoon that Malzahn had turned down the Commodores' offer before Auburn announced his new deal.
Maryland offensive coordinator/coach-in-waiting James Franklin is thought to be Vanderbilt's next choice for the job.