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Monday, December 13, 2010

(Updated) Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn staying in Auburn, will get raise, extension

Offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is staying put in Auburn, and he'll be handsomely rewarded for doing so.

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.

Malzahn, who made $500,000 this year, will get the biggest bump. Although Auburn didn't release the figure, the Birmingham News, citing an unnamed source, reported Malzahn got an extension to his current three-year contract that will pay him $1.3 million annually.

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.


welton said...

Thats great. I hope Gus stays at Auburn, he is a great coach.

O Sledder said...

Yeah, but how much should any AU fan believe ESPN right now?

spratman said...

Who are the highest paid assistants currently and how much do they make?

Andy Bitter said...

Monte Kffin of USC is the highest. $1.5 million. Looking for a list of other well-paid assistant. Got to guess most are in the SEC.

Simmons B. Buntin said...

Good for us, and for Malzahn. He'll get the opportunity at a school with a much higher chance for success. Vandy's an excellent school and Nashville's a great town, but the chances for football success there are slim at best.

Anonymous said...

it doesn't matter how much other assistant coaches are paid. AU came out with an undefeated record won the sec champ game by huge margins!! and now on there way to to the national champ game! gus is the man and AU athletics should do what is needed to give him what he deserves. gene and gus and our players together is what made us number 1!!! WAR EAGLE!!

MikeP said...

Probably next year Gus will get an offer from a school where he has a chance to win. He'll take it and that's to be expected.

I am glad that he'll be with Auburn through this BCS game and will be there to help with the huge rebuilding job that will be required next year.

After that, good luck Gus!

Remember folks, when he leaves it won't be about money. He wants to try his hand at being a head coach and he wants that chance at a place where he has the opportunity to win. If it was only about money, he'd have jumped on the Vandy job today.

Aubiester said...

I wouldn't call it a huge rebuilding job. Frankly we should be better than we were in 2009 - seriously. People just assume. Just remember we were 9-3 in 2005 after our losses from the 13-0 team of 2004.

Marmot said...

Gus is worth the money. His system is unique and not many other coaches could pick up where he left off. He has just the right hard working, decisive, wholesome, fatherly persona that works well with Gene on this staff. He's actively developing his system, while most other OC's are just maintaining exiting systems (and this further stresses defenses who already have problems with the current version of the Gus bus), and he runs interesting plays which just makes everything more fun.

He would be almost impossible to replace. If you look for someone with his leadership and decision making qualities that person probably doesn't run "somebody else's" system. If you look for someone who knows the system, you probably don't get the inventiveness and ballsiness (is that a word?). It would be a compromise that we currently aren't having to make.

AUsome04 said...

Great work AB. Let's see 5-o against 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)[Twice].

Yep, that looks like it's worth a big fat raise to me. Nice work J. Jacobs.

MikeP said...

The problem with next year won't be the skill positions, we have a large amount of good young talent there.
The O-line will have to be overhauled,(one returning starter) the the D-line will have to be overhauled(one returning starter) and the two constants at LB, Bynes and Stephens, will have to be replaced.

That's a lot of leadership, experience and muscle to replace all at one time.