Auburn dismissed football coach Gus Malzahn, capping off an eight-year reign that began with a trip to the national title game. Allen Greene, the Tigers' athletic director, announced the termination on Sunday, a day after the Tigers ended the regular season with a 24-10 victory against Mississippi State. "After much thought and consideration, I can say with confidence that this was the right decision for our program," Greene said in a statement. "Gus Malzahn has done a great job of building Auburn into a competitive football team each year, but we are now at a point where we need to go in another direction."
Malzahn, 40, had one year left on his contract and was scheduled to make $750,000 this season. He took over for Tommy Tuberville as Auburn's head coach in 2010 and led the Tigers to a 9-3 record and their first Southern Division title since 1992. But they fell short in their quest for an undefeated season and a BCS bowl bid, losing to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.
"This is a difficult day for me and my family," Malzahn said in a statement.
AUBURN — Auburn is making a change after eight seasons, two SEC West titles, a conference title, and a trip to the BCS national championship game. Gus Malzahn, the football program's head coach, was sacked on Sunday, according to athletics director Allen Greene.
Malzahn, who turned Arkansas State into a winning program and took over at Auburn in 2013, went 77-26 during his tenure. The Tigers went 55-15 under Joe Moorhead last season before losing their final three games by a total of 24 points. Malzahn will be replaced by former Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen, according to several reports. A source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Malzahn was fired, and another reported his departure on Twitter.
"After much thought and discussion with my family, we have decided to part ways," Malzahn said in a statement released by Auburn. "I would like to thank the Auburn community for all they have done for me and my family. This has been an incredible experience for our girls, and I'm so proud of them."
In four years at Auburn, Malzahn won 77 games and led the team to a BCS title game appearance. He also transformed Arkansas State into a winner in the Sun Belt Conference. Before arriving in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in 2011, Malzahn was just 33-19 as a head coach.
Bill Oliver was the temporary head coach for the final five games of the season, winning two and losing three. "Auburn Coaching Statistics." Data Warehouse for College Football Statistics. August 11, 2009. http://www.dataworks.info/college-football/auckmst-interim-coach.html.
Oliver had been an assistant under Terry Bowden from 1993 to 1995 before going on to a successful career as an assistant coach in the NFL. He returned to Auburn in 2008 after seven years with the Pittsburgh Steelers where he worked under Mike Tomlin.
Before joining the staff at Auburn, Oliver was involved with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers organization as a quality control coach under Jon Gruden during Gruden's tenure as Oakland Raiders coach from 1998 to 2007. He also served as an offensive assistant for the Bucs when Greg Schiano was the team's defensive coordinator from 2003 to 2004.
Oliver played college football at Florida State University from 1980 to 1983 and was a first-team All-American selection as a tight end.
Bryan Harsin, Head Coach Auburn has chosen Boise State coach Bryan Harsin to take over the program, succeeding Gus Malzahn after a quick search. Harsin led the Broncos to three Mountain West championships in seven seasons, going 69-19. Harsin is following in the footsteps of Malzahn by joining the Tigers. The former Arkansas quarterback has taken Auburn to new heights, leading the team to its first BCS title game last year and an undefeated regular season this year. He's just the third coach in school history.
Harsin's hiring ends Malzahn's tenure at Auburn. The former Arkansas quarterback led the Tigers to a 33-3 record and a BCS title game appearance during his time in Auburn. He left for Georgia to be closer to his family home in Humboldt, Arkansas. Malzahn was able to lead the Bulldogs to a 10-3 record this past season before he was fired. He's expected to land on his feet quickly as many schools are sure to be interested in hiring him away.
Auburn went 8-5 this past season under Malzahn and played in its first Iron Bowl since 1999. The Tigers lost that game 34-28 to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Malzahn is expected to go straight into retirement after this season if Auburn doesn't hire someone else first. Harsin will have the chance to continue the success that Malzahn started at Auburn.
The University of Arizona dismissed football coach Kevin Sumlin on Saturday following another dismal season. Under Sumlin, the Wildcats had dropped 12 straight games. Sumlin, a former Texas A&M and Houston coach, was hired in 2017. He was given a five-year contract worth $12 million dollars.
He finished with a record of 7-5 this year. That's less than what both previous coaches at Arizona had in their first seasons: Mike Stoops went 20-15 in his only season and Sean Miller led the Wildcats to the Fiesta Bowl after the 2013 season.
However, things started going wrong for Sumlin early in his tenure at Arizona. In his first season, he led the Wildcats to a 6-6 record before losing 38-34 in overtime to California in the Holiday Bowl. The following year, they fell to 1-11 after losing their first 11 games before finishing 3-9 under Sumlin.
After two years without a win, there were rumors that Sumlin might be let go but the university said he would be retained for at least one more season. This past weekend, though, they announced that he was being fired after the loss to USC.
USC defeated Arizona 26-7 in Los Angeles on Friday night. The game ended up being Sumlin's last as the head coach.