Gus Malzahn to make $3.85 million in first year of new Auburn deal

John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

After one of the greatest turnarounds in college football history, the head coach will be one of the ten highest paid coaches in the country.

Auburn and head coach Gus Malzahn have agreed to a new six-year contract extension, the school announced in a release, and the coach is going to be making a lot of money.

In the statement, Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs spoke about  the school's commitment to Malzahn's future.

"The new contract includes a raise and extension and is our statement that Auburn is committed to Coach Malzahn for the long haul. While this season has been remarkable, I'm equally excited about the future of our program under his leadership. The future of Auburn football is very bright."

Malzahn will make $3.85 million next season, with a $250,000 increase in salary for each subsequent year. That figure makes him the eighth-highest paid coach in the country -- good for third in the SEC. By the end of his deal, Malzahn will be making $5.1 million -- which would currently put him behind only Alabama's Nick Saban and Texas's Mack Brown.

The coach was rumored to be interested in the head coaching job at Texas, and Auburn announcing the specific details of his salary can be seen as especially significant in that regard.

Malzahn was a wide receiver at Arkansas and Henderson State in his playing days, and began his coaching career at Hughes High School in Arkansas. After ten years with other high schools in the region (winning a state championship in 2005 and coaching Mitch Mustain and Damian Williams), he was hired at Arkansas as the offensive coordinator in 2006.

That Razorbacks team went 10-4, and he left for Tulsa, coached by his friend Todd Graham. The Golden Hurricane led the nation in total yards per game in both of his years there, and he was hired by Auburn in 2009 -- first as an offensive coordinator.

Malzahn helped lead the Tigers to a national championship in 2010 with Heisman winner Cam Newton, and left for Arkansas State in 2012 for his first head coaching position. The Red Wolves went 9-3 in his only year, winning the Bowl before he was hired back to Auburn -- this time as the head coach.

The Tigers went 11-1 during the regular season this year, including an historic victory over Alabama in the Iron Bowl to punch their ticket to the SEC Championship Game. All of that came one season removed from an embarrassing 0-8 mark in SEC play under Gene Chizik.

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