Pain on the Plains

So, Gus Malzahn, one year after turning down a reported $3 million/year offer to become Vanderbilt’s head coach, elects to take a pay cut of almost a half million dollars per year to become the new head coach at… Arkansas State.

I’m not sure if that’s a sadder commentary on Malzahn, who surely becomes the first coach ever to regret rejecting a coaching offer from Vandy, or Gene Chizik, who I figure is one Trooper Taylor defection away from presiding over the biggest exodus since Pharoah watched the Israelites hightail it out of Egypt.

The good news is that there should be plenty of room on the Auburn sideline at the Chick-fil-A Bowl.


Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands

53 responses to “Pain on the Plains

  1. Interesting… must be some bad violations to make one jump ship like that. UN Violation bad.

  2. BeardDawg

    “The good news is that there should be plenty of room on the Auburn sideline at the Chick-fil-A Bowl.”

    Maybe they could loan some of that real estate to Ohio State’s 2 coaching staffs. It seeams a bit crowded on that sideline.

  3. Spike

    What happened to the “All IN” AU Family? Boy, Being at Auburn must reall suck if you take a big pay cut and go back to Arkansas State. Wow.

  4. Scott W.

    Like rats.

  5. Lrgk9

    $450K cut to have the oppotunity to get the Heck out of town.

    Hop on the Bus Gus,
    don’t need to discuss much
    Just drop off the key Lee,
    and get yourself free.

    • Nate Dawg

      +1. G Love and Special Sauce covered that. I generally don’t like covers, but it’s pretty good. You should check it out.

  6. TennesseeDawg

    Gus’s wife can bring the crazy to Jonesboro now. Got to be something big coming down at Auburn.

    • Cojones

      Agreed on “something big coming down”. Kristi was all in when she heard they have a Chrystal Palace only to find out it was a redneck burger joint instead of a glass evangelical house for child care. This whole thing just got crazier.

  7. Jermaine'sDye

    Is Cecil Newton receiving any serious consideration for a possible staff or administrative position?

    War Eghul,

    Eric Ramsey
    Class of 2006
    (under the direction and guidance of Dr. Thomas Peete)

  8. The other Doug

    Has anyone heard why the rats are jumping ship?

  9. Bulldog Bry

    So basically, he’s come fill circle…….back to Arkansas. Headscratcher.

  10. dean

    A Fort Smith, Ark., native, Malzahn played two years at Arkansas and two years at Henderson State, where he earned his degree.

    I’m guessing his degree is not in business.

  11. Stoopnagle

    Fascinating. We all know Roof was on the block, but Gus must have not even been getting calls… That’s a lot of mid to high profile jobs still on the table. Wouldn’t Houston or So. Miss. be better?

  12. heyberto

    I’m guessing he better take whatever offer he could get this year.. probably regrets rebuking Vandy last year and figures he better take what he can get before his wife and that church video cost him any future opportunities with whatever special brand of crazy that woman is.

  13. I’m gonna take a contrarian view here that from a LONG TERM view, the Arkansas State job might be better than Vandy for Malzahn. Think about it, coaches go on to things bigger and better than Vandy from schools like Arkansas State all the time. But once coaches get to Vandy……..well, how many coaches can you name that went on to anything better after their time at Vandy? So despite how much money Vandy might be offering you, you almost have to ask yourself, do I want the Vandy coaching position to be the pinnacle of my career? If the answer is “no”, then you pass on it, and maybe even take a step backwards so that in the future you can take a couple of big steps forward.

    Now I fully doubt that Malzahn expected to have a hard time getting on with a better program, as he didn’t seem to consideration for any of the bigger jobs this time around…….that had to be a bit of a reality check. But again, long term, it wouldn’t surprise me if this works out better……..2 years from now he could be running a program with much greater oppportunities for success than Vandy.

    • JayBird

      Agree with the Reverend..and Gus’ “Hotness” went out the door with all those players from the 2010 team. 2011 was a DUD, but not unexpected to us Aubies.

    • The Lone Stranger

      Pretty much only Gerry DiNardo to LSU, but he turned out to be more mirage than substance. It was slightly incredible that a 5-6 season at Vanderbilt earned him a ticket to LSU, but those were different days on the bayou. These days, you can’t even listen to him on that B1G network talkathon – he mumbles and fat-lips his delivery into submission.

  14. Bad Marinara

    This gives him plausible deniability (I just LUV the state of Arkansas sooo much. It’s not about the money.). But yeah, a lot of better options out there. Something is up.

  15. Mike

    Hmmm…both coordinators leave to take jobs that most would suggest is a step down. Wonder what is up on the plains?

    • Go Dawgs!

      Something’s up in the coaching offices, that’s for sure. Of course, you can make the case that Ted Roof left in order to avoid possibly being fired down the line, but I don’t buy it. You don’t see a lot of assistant coaches getting fired the year after they’re part of a national championship. I think working for Chizik isn’t as fun as it looks (and it doesn’t look all that fun).

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        +1. That and they can see an end to winning anything at all in sight. The cupboard must really gonna be bare next year and the year after next.

  16. Go Dawgs!

    Some Auburn friends have told me that there were rumors of a lack of harmony on the coaching staff. If that’s true, Chizik is a bigger fool than I thought. He needed to do whatever possible to keep Malzahn happy. After all, he was the architect of the championship. He and Newton, that is.

    Don’t look now, Auburn, but it looks like you might be about to get the coach with the losing record at Iowa State that you hired three years ago! Cam Newton ain’t walking through that door. Your assistant coaches are, though… headed the other way!

    • Doug

      Yeah, supposedly Chizik was taking too much control over the offense and not letting Malzahn do his thing. Which is crazy — I mean, Malzahn’s the guy who managed to turn Chris Todd into a stud two years ago — but like you said, perhaps this is the 5-19 part of “5-19 Gene” finally asserting itself.

  17. Steve M.

    Hugh Freeze had one of the worst recruiting classes I’ve ever seen in his one year at Arkansas State. Those boys weren’t even stars on their high school teams.
    Surely Malzahn must know that. Auburn must be on the verge of collapse.

  18. Cousin Eddie

    Malzhan will take the Ark State job and do OK. Then in two yrs when Chizik is fired he will get the AU job. Couldn’t get the AU job if he is on staff for the next two losing years. Just my thoughts.

    • Go Dawgs!

      I think the whole “coach’s wife is crazy, can’t hire him” meme about Malzahn is a bit overblown, but I do think Auburn is one of the places where such a thing could be a big obstacle for his hiring.

      • Barbara Dooley

        “I think the whole “coach’s wife is crazy, can’t hire him” meme about Malzahn is a bit overblown”

        Who you calling crazy!

      • Cousin Eddie

        Don’t know that his wife is the only crazy in that family. Malzahn and the Nutster had a falling out after what one year? With Rumors of an unhappy staff at AU now, what is the common denomiator in these failed realtionships?

      • Vince Dooley

        It never hampered my career.

  19. Otto

    Malzahn was the architect of the 5-0 start in ’09. He was smart enough to let Cam do his thing in ’10 in place of making him a TE.

    Not sure why he is going to Arky St. but I can understand passing on Vandy, it is a dead end job. How many coaches do well enough to get promoted out?

    • W Cobb Dawg

      As I recall LSU hired a Vandy head coach in the 80’s or 90’s. Can’t blame Malzahn for passing on Vandy, as the sec chews them up. But still, seems he would’ve been a good fit for any of those western conferences that score points by the bushel – and without taking a pay cut. Isn’t Georgia State in the same conference as Arky State?

      • X-Dawg

        That coach was DiNardo, and was in the days before the Vandy Athletic Dept was changed to a glorified intramural program.

    • AthensHomerDawg

      Coach Franklin begs to differ with you sir and demands your respect!

  20. Derek

    I don’t know that the pressures were external. Those guys laid down during the second half of the season and no one overreacts like auburn. It may well be that a decision was made to get some new blood in there.

  21. You can imagine if the AU DC did indeed replaced our reverend and UGA found itself with another scandal, but a RED BRIEF this time around. LOL

  22. ARGH!!!!!!!!

    Another head coaching vacancy filled, and Mike Bobo is still our OC.


    Why does nobody even have interest in him? UGH

  23. AusDawg85

    Maybe Gus and Ted left for their own reasons, but with the dumpster on fire, how will the All-in bagmen NOT resist taking the risk, yet again, to buy some talent? It’s gotta be clear to them by now how to avoid NCAA oversight.