Arkansas State, Of All Places, Lands Auburn's Gus Malzahn

Arkansas State has hired Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn to be their new head coach. He replaces Hugh Freeze.

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18 Total Updates since December 13, 2011
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Gus Malzahn To Arkansas State Official, School Confirms

Guz Malzahn moving from Auburn to Arkansas State is now as official as it's going to get prior to Wednesday afternoon's press conference. What started as an odd and unconfirmed rumor has now been confirmed by the school.

Arkansas State posted a note on its Facebook site Tuesday evening saying that they would hold a press conference on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. to announce the new head coach. School officials issued another release on Wednesday morning confirming it was Malzahn they'd be announcing as the team's new head coach.

Malzahn's contract at Arkansas State has been reported at six years for $600,000, likely making him the highest paid coach in the Sun Belt Conference. It'll still be a pay cut for him, according to reports, but SB Nation's own Jason Kirk gave a bit of background on Tuesday night regarding that situation.

For many, the sticking point in all this ... how did Malzahn fall from turning down a $3 million-per-year offer with Vanderbilt to taking a pay cut just to land in Jonesboro, Arkansas, at a school that had never won six games in a year until 2011?

For one, we could be dealing with a man who values things beyond money. There are a few of those. He may also just really like the state. He's 46 years old, and as far as I can tell, has spent just five years of his adult life based outside of Arkansas. He went to high school and college there and coached there until 2006.

Either way, Malzahn is officially the new head coach at Arkansas State and desrves all the praise and recognition that comes with that sort of job.

For more on the Arkansas State coaching job, stick the the 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Gus Malzahn Accepts Arkansas State Job, According To Reports

Arkansas State has concluded their head coaching search with the hiring of Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, according to a report by AStateNation.com:

We have confirmed that the contract has been signed and that Gus Malzahn is the new Head Coach at Arkansas State
Dec 14 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

AStateNation.com's report has been confirmed by columnist and SI.com contributor George Schroeder. A press conference introducing Malzahn will reportedly occur Wednesday.

Malzahn had been rumored to be a candidate for the position, but many did not think he would accept it. Malzahn is from Arkansas, however, so there might have been something sentimental about rebuilding the program. As James Bryant of AStateNation.com notes, Malzahn spent 14 years coaching high school football in his home state.

Malzahn has been the offensive coordinator at Auburn University since the 2009 season. He helped call the nearly unstoppable Aurburn offense that was quarterbacked by now Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Malzahn originally hit the college ranks in 2005 as a wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator at Arkansas, when he came as a package deal with a group of prized recuits whom he coached in high school. After two years, left to become the offensive coordinator at Tulane, where he directed one of the nation's top offenses.

For more on the Arkansas State coaching job, stick the the 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Hugh Freeze Will Become Ole Miss Football Coach

Arkansas St. Red Wolves head coach Hugh Freeze will become the next coach of the Mississippi Rebels, SBNation.com's Steven Godfrey confirmed Saturday night. You may recall Mr. Godfrey from such acts as breaking the news of Houston Nutt's firing, along with the news of Pete Boone's dismissal.

Freeze has led Arkansas State to its first-ever 10-win FBS season and its first-ever Sun Belt title. He doesn't have much top-shelf experience, having worked two years at Ole Miss and otherwise at NAIA Lambuth and at a Tennessee high school. He's scored a lot of points along the way, though.

Speaking of Ole Miss, you may best remember Freeze as Micheal Oher's high school coach in The Blind Side.

One other name to eye for Rebels fans: Dave Wommack, defensive coordinator. He currently holds the same position with Freeze, having ran the defenses of Georgia Tech and UNLV in his career.

For more, visit Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion. And here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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Hugh Freeze May Be Close To Becoming Ole Miss Head Coach

Ole Miss reportedly tried the hard sell on Southern Mississippi head coach Larry Fedora, but may be turning its attention to Hugh Freeze. According to a report on Saturday night, Freeze is expected to meet with Ole Miss officials on Sunday, and will receive an offer to be the Rebels next head coach at that time. Freeze is expected to accept, though nothing is final yet.

The report comes from Rebel Grove and includes information about Ole Miss' reported pursuit of Fedora.

Sources told RebelGrove.com Saturday Southern Miss coach Larry Fedora rejected an offer from Ole Miss. A source said late Saturday Ole Miss was expected to make one final pitch to Fedora before turning its full attention to Freeze.

This has nothing to do with the Ole Miss opening, but it's kind of amazing. Hugh Freeze could have been a women's basketball coach.

10 years ago, FedEx CEO Fred Smith wanted Memphis to hire him...as women's hoops coach

For more, visit Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion. And here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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