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Gus Malzahn reportedly signing an extension at Auburn, which would mean no Arkansas move

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Malzahn has a .682 winning percentage at Auburn.

NCAA Football: SEC Championship-Georgia vs Auburn Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Gus Malzahn is signing an extension to stay on as Auburn’s head coach, according to a handful of reports. The first one, by 247Sports:

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn is staying at Auburn, a source familiar with the situation tells Auburn Undercover.

Malzahn has agreed to a deal that will keep him at Auburn after overtures from Arkansas. The numbers are not yet clear, but the deal will stretch at least five years and could include a raise to as much as $7 million, the source said.

Malzahn’s pay is about $4.7 million this year, per USA Today.

Malzahn has been the head man at Auburn since 2013. In his five years, he’s built up a record of 45-21. He has Auburn at 10-3 this year, but the Tigers are coming off a blowout loss to Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

In two of Malzahn’s five years on the Plains, he’s put Auburn in significant national contention. In 2013, the Tigers came within a whisker from beating Jameis Winston’s Florida State Seminoles in the BCS Championship.

A win against Georgia would’ve put the Tigers in the Playoff for the first time in their history, though they wound up getting routed. Malzahn was asked after the game about the open job at Arkansas and gave a somewhat cryptic answer.

Malzahn’s future at Auburn has often been somewhat in doubt. Arkansas had emerged as an obvious landing spot.

His first year was great, and this most recent year was good. Both of those seasons involved wins over Alabama, SEC West crowns, and chances to win the whole thing. But every other year involved none of those things, and Auburn fans didn’t like that.

In recent weeks, the possibility of Malzahn leaving Auburn for Arkansas has come into focus. Had Auburn lost the Iron Bowl, Malzahn could’ve left quickly for the job in Fayetteville. The Hogs were about to fire Bret Bielema, which they wound up doing literally seconds after their season ended on the same day.

Malzahn has roots all over Arkansas. He played and coach high school football in the state for 15 years. He was Arkansas’ offensive coordinator under Houston Nutt in 2006, and he was the head coach at Arkansas State in 2012 before heading to Auburn. Those connections and Auburn fans’ on-and-off relationship with him made Malzahn-to-Arkansas a sensible idea as long as Auburn didn’t, say, win the national title.

The idea has made some sense. Hogs blog Arkansas Fight writes:

Scheme Fit: High. Want a system that works with the talent in Arkansas high schools? How about the system that was practically invented in the ranks of Arkansas high schools! The Gus offense is a run-heavy hurry-up, no-huddle with lots of misdirection and play-action. It fits Arkansas’ penchant for good running backs and fast receivers.


He’s a successful, pioneering coach that is said to consider Arkansas his dream job. What’s not to love?

Compounding all of this: Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs is retiring amid a series of department scandals. Jacobs hired Malzahn and was something of an ally to him in the way that most head football coaches and athletic directors are sort of bound together.

While a new Auburn AD might not fire Malzahn, the hiring of a replacement for the guy who hired you is rarely a good thing for a coach.

Still, Auburn’s gotten some good years out of Malzahn.

One SEC title and two national title contentions in five years is better than a lot of coaches could’ve done, even if it’s not going to please everyone at a place like Auburn. It seems like Malzahn will get the chance to try again.