One thing that stood out about Arkansas State's new Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn, he isn't satisfied with being average.
Malzahn, a Arkansas native and former Auburn offensive coordinator, told a very loud group of Red Wolves he took this job with one thing in mind.
"I told our players today to buckle up and get ready," Malzahn said. "I'm here to win championships and I'm here to take this program to the next level."
One might wonder what is the next level for a team that is currently 10-2?
Malzahn made it quite clear.
"We want to be a Top 25 program every year," Malzahn said. "We work hard to accomplish this both on the football field and on the road recruiting."
Malzahn, who has only been a head coach at the high school level in Arkansas, stated it was time for him to be a head coach.
"I can tell you this, I have been saying all along that I would become a head coach when the timing was right and I was at the right place," Malzahn said. "I promise the timing is right and I'm at the right place."
Malzahn is known as an offensive genius and did great things in three seasons at Auburn including winning one National Championship. He coached at Tulsa and one year at Arkansas. He spent 14 years coaching high school football.
Those 14 years coaching at the high school level in Arkansas, played a big role in Malzahn returning to the Natural State.
"It's great to be home," Malzahn said to a standing ovation. "I knew this was the right situation for me, I can't be more excited about being the Head Coach at Arkansas State University."
Malzahn spoke of his relationships with high school coaches in the State of Arkansas and how close of friends he is with former Coach Hugh Freeze and Coach Steve Roberts.
"Those men have built a solid foundation here at Arkansas State," Malzahn said. "Both men are great men and are great friends of mine. I spoke to Coach Freeze several times during this coaching search process."
Malzahn admitted that Freeze had nothing but positive things to say about the program, the administration and the community.
"I can tell you it wasn't an easy decision for him to leave," Malzahn said. "That's because how much he cared about these young men and you the fans."
Malzahn announced today that he will share time in Jonesboro and Auburn, Alabama where he will coach the Tigers in their New Year's Eve Bowl Game.
"It's the right thing to do," Malzahn said. "I will be busy here recruiting and assembling a staff."
Malzahn would not confirm any possible coaches that he plans on bringing with him, but admitted he had a few in mind. He did say he plans on interviewing the current coaches left behind. ?
"Coach Freeze thinks highly of all of them," Malzahn said. "I will sit down and meet with each one of them and go from there."
One thing is for sure, he won is first victory today as a Red Wolf, winning hands down the press conference.
One longtime fan said this was the biggest day in the history of the school, while it may be a little soon to tell that for sure, it was definitely a great start on things ahead for the Red Wolves.