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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Will he stay or will he go? Confliciting reports about whether Malzahn will take Vanderbilt job

I've had bad travel days before, and I've had bad computer days before, but never have both so perfectly merged as they did today on my return from New York.

As you know, there's been some news about offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt out there. Here's what I could whip together after landing in Atlanta:
Talks heated up between Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt about the school’s head coaching vacancy Sunday, although there are conflicting reports about whether or not Auburn’s offensive coordinator has accepted the job.

The Washington Post reported Sunday night that Malzahn verbally agreed to be the Commodores’ next head coach, saying he is expected to be introduced as early as Monday.

But Vanderbilt denied the report late Sunday night to The Tennessean, although director of communications Rod Williamson said he hoped the report would be accurate soon.
Other reports say the deal is not done. The Birmingham News, citing an unnamed source, said Malzahn is mulling Vanderbilt’s offer and would make a decision either late Sunday or early Monday.

Vanderbilt vice chancellor David Williams told the Associated Press that the school expects to announce its new coach within days. He declined to comment on if the Commodores had offered the job to anyone.

If Malzahn does not take the job, Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin is expected to be offered the job, according to ESPN.

Efforts to reach Malzahn on Sunday were unsuccessful. The coordinator was in New York on Saturday night as Tigers quarterback Cam Newton received the Heisman Trophy.

Auburn officials did not respond to phone calls Sunday.

Auburn Athletics director Jay Jacobs said Friday that the school will do whatever it can to keep Malzahn as coordinator.

“No doubt about it. That's what we're going to do,” he said. “That's certainly Gene (Chizik's) decision, but 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. But we'll certainly do what we think is right, certainly for what Gus has done and means to this program.”

The 45-year-old Malzahn, who has been at Auburn two years, is a hot coaching commodity after guiding the Tigers to a record-setting offensive year in which they led the SEC in total offense, rushing yards and scoring.

Earlier this month, he won the Broyles Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top assistant coach.

Vanderbilt, which went 2-10 also season, showed immediate interest in Malzahn after deciding not to retain the services of Robbie Caldwell, who the school viewed as a stop-gap solution after longtime coach Bobby Johnson abruptly resigned last summer.

A report by The Tennessean late Thursday night said the school had put together an offer in the neighborhood of $3 million per year, which would put Malzahn in the top half of the SEC in terms of salary.

Malzahn received a 43 percent raise last winter to bring his annual salary up to $500,000.

If Malzahn takes the job, it is unclear whether he would stay with Auburn through the BCS title game against Oregon in Glendale, Ariz., on Jan. 10.


RW said...

I would LOVE for Gus to stay at Auburn, but I tend to think that if he is going to go, he needs to go ahead and go. I think our players and assistant coaches know enough about our offense at this point to be able to run it well enough themselves. If we can't beat Oregon without Gus, we probably wouldn't beat them with him either.

That said, I wish him best of luck with whatever decision he makes.

Anonymous said...

Good luck Gus, enjoyed it!

Anonymous said...

Report on Rivals.com says that Gus turned Vandy down.

Anonymous said...

rivals.com? didn't see it on the home page. send a link if you are legit.

Nancy said...

If the Washington Post says it then it must be true....all we need is a confirmation from the LA Times. The new age of "journalism" the media doesn't bother to report the news, instead it goes out and creates the news.

Anonymous said...

Gus says no