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Friday, December 10, 2010

Is Vanderbilt serious about Gus Malzahn?

According to this report in The Tennessean, yes. Jeff Lockridge reported last night that Vanderbilt has made an offer around $3 million a year for Gus Malzahn to be the Commodores' new coach.

Vanderbilt is also interested in Maryland offensive coordinator/coach-in-waiting James Franklin and Stanford assistant head coach Greg Roman. The Washington Post reported that Franklin and Roman are the two finalists for the job.

But Malzahn apparently continues to pique Vandy's interest. Here's the passage in today's Tennessean article:

Auburn coor­di­na­tor Gus Mal­zahn, who was in town Wed­nes­day, is thought to have recei­ved another offer from Van­der­bilt that approaches the ball­park of $3 million per year.

But if he con­ti­nues to pass, look for Van­der­bilt to move on to Fran­klin or perhaps Roman in the very, very near future (and save some money in the process).

Malzahn's name popped up early in the search but he reportedly had no interest in the job. Neither Auburn nor Malzahn have commented publicly about any job rumors.

One thing's for sure: if the report is true, the offer would be substantially more money for Malzahn, who received a 43 percent raise last winter to bring his annual compensation to $500,000. He is one of the top paid assistants in the SEC.

The $3 million price tag would be a departure for the Commodores, who rank near the bottom of the SEC in coaching salaries. Vanderbilt is a private institution, and therefore does not have to release its salaries to public records requests, but former coach Bobby Johnson was believed to make in the neighborhood of $1 million per season. This year's coach, Robbie Caldwell, made less than that.

This reported offer would make Malzahn the third-highest paid coach in the SEC, behind Nick Saban, Les Miles and Mark Richt. (Although Florida figures to offer someone a hefty contract now that Urban Meyer has resigned.)

I'm headed to New York today for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, so I'll be incommunicado for part of the day. I don't think there's much to this report, but you can never tell.


Anonymous said...

Johnson made $1.2 his final year at Vanderbilt and yes, VU is serious about Malzahn. They are prepared to pay him that much because they want him as their head coach and know that other schools will likely come after if other coaches within the SEC go to Florida. People doubting that VU is willing to pay him a high salary are obviously not understanding that this coaching search for Vanderbilt has included more than just the university, it has included some big supporters who are willing to put their money behind the support in order to get the coach they want. Vanderbilt has always had resources to spend more, both as a university and in it's support system. They started off with a working number of $2 million a year during this search, for the right coach. This week, they knew that if they want to get their top man (which has been Malzahn all along), they needed to try to offer him something they thought he couldn't say no to. The media reported this "no interest" stuff without ever getting it from Malzahn himself and the media had no idea he was in Nashville on Wednesday night, and the media also probably doesn't know that was actually his second interview with Vanderbilt in the past 4 days. Will he take Vanderbilt up on their offer, who's to say. A friend and former co-worker of his is currently working at Vanderbilt, and they're other ties between Malzahn and Vanderbilt that the media either doesn't know about or doesn't care to dive into because they have been so conditioned to not expect anything out of the university's football program.

Anonymous said...

I think GUS will stay just like Mullen sticks with Miss State. Nice try. Even last season gus with louisiana tech rumor.

RW said...

Mr. Anonymous seems to know all! Watch out or ESPN will be citing you as a source soon.

Anonymous said...

I say Auburn matches their offer so he'll stay. Malzahn is one of the biggest reasons Auburn is where they are today.

Anonymous said...

No way will AU pay an OC $3M. Vandy would be a challenging gig, but maybe Malzahn could pull it off. I turned them into a national powerhouse on NCAA2009, haha. Surely he can do it better than I can.

At least we wouldn't play them every year like we do Arkansas!

Anonymous said...

Malzahn won't go to Vanderbilt. It's like Duke football, career suicide if you want to be a head coach.

And Vandy just can't get enough talent unless they decide to lower their academic standards.

Not gonna happen...

Justin said...

Just yesterday I wondered about whether or not Malzahn has enough experience around big time college football just yet to run a program and do all the things entailed to head coach. And now here's the Vanderbilt offer, where he would have to do even more than that, because they don't have an Athletic Director.

If he wants to know how a job like this can go about killing a career, he just needs to ask Ted Roof about his stay at Duke.

But then again, it might just be worth the risk for $3 million.

Andy said...

A long term stay at Auburn is worth more han a short term stint as a head coach at a location that can't succeed. The same is true if he takes a position before he is ready. His college experience is still very limited. Being the CEO of an elite program anywhere will be a challenge

Anonymous said...

$3M for 1 coach is the wrong answer for any school trying to move up.

You need to do it the way Gene did it at Auburn; a reasonable salary for the HC but $'s for very good coaching staff. A great coaching staff is going to turn around a program because they can get more out average talent.

Paying 1 person a $3M/yr salary and peanuts for the others nets a disaster on the field.

Anonymous said...

Heard from someone on ITAT it was more like 1.6 mil. NO WAY Vandy would pay 3 mil for a coach! No way on earth.

MikeP said...

I think the idea that Vandy would pay $3 million to hire an unproven guy as a head coach is absurd. Nobody would, and Vandy people are supposed to be smart.

Auburn will give all the assistants a nice raise this year, but Auburn nor anybody else will pay an assistant anything that approaches a head coaches' salary.

Sooner or later, Coach Malzahn will get an offer to be the head coach in a situation that he likes and he'll take it.
When that happens, we'll wish him good luck and Coach Chizik will go out and hire another good Offensive Coordinator. It won't be the end of the world.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who is saying he won't go because it's Vandy is kidding themselves. It's simple, Anyone would take just about any job for 3 million dollars when they currently make 500K. Coaches are no different from businessmen or whoever else in that respect, but it amazes me that fans always seem to think coaches have some overwhelming loyalty or love for a place that would make them not take an enormous raise and set their family up for life.