Gus Malzahn met with the media at Arkansas State on Wednesday as he was introduced as the team's next head coach. For Malzahn, one of the highest-paid assistant coaches in the country, the move comes as a surprise in some ways, and not in others. He's a native of the state and was reportedly recruited for the job by Hugh Freeze, resulting in his decision to move from an SEC coordinator job to a Sun Belt head coaching job.
Malzahn called the Arkansas State job the right fit at the right time. He said he'd explored other head coaching jobs in the last two years, having got the bug to become a head coach, but wanted to wait for the right opportunity to present itself.
"This is where I learned football, from Arkansas high school coaches," Malzahn said. "I'm not a normal college coach as far as the progression goes. So, I've always looked for the right place at the right time. Guess what? This is the right place and the right time."
Just one minor bone to pick about Malzahn's introductory press conference. I'm not sure athletic director Dean Lee understands what Boise State plays.
"We can be the Boise State of college football," Lee said. "Coach Malzahn, we want to be the Arkansas State of college football, which is going to be better than Boise State."
Not sure Arkansas State can be the Boise State of college football when Boise State is already the Boise State of college football. Perhaps the Gonzaga of college football, or something like that, would've worked here.
Malzahn likely took a significant pay cut as part of his move from Auburn to Arkansas State, though financial terms of his contract were not released. However, Lee did reveal it is a five-year deal that will make Malzahn the Sun Belt's richest coach.