No one expected the name that was released Monday as a possible candidate for the Head Coaching position at Arkansas State.
Fans have used these words to describe the news that there was mutual interest between Arkansas State and Auburn Offensive Coordinator Gus Malzahn.
Shocking, no way, you have to be kidding, are you drunk.
Those were the reactions when news leaked out Monday afternoon that there was a new star on the Red Wolves radar.
Arkansas State athletic officials and players made a trip to Mobile, Alabama on Monday to check things out for their upcoming Bowl Game on January 8th in the Go Daddy. Com Bowl.
Apparently one of the Bowl volunteers that was present during ASU's visit to Mobile must have overheard someone mentioning Gus Malzahn's name, linking him to the open position.
That volunteer ended up being a Blogger or they told the Blogger who had a Blog called Ibleedcrimsonred.com and released a story Monday afternoon around 5:30 p.m. stating that Arkansas State was interested in Malzahn.
When I got the first call about the story, my first thoughts were the same as posted up above. "Are you crazy," there is no way that's going to happen. Arkansas State can't pay 1.3 million dollars, they weren't even paying Hugh Freeze 300,000.
Then I begin to make some phone calls and do a little digging. Every call I made it became very obvious there was something to this report.
After contacting five separate sources I figured out it was time for me to write a story.
Monday evening around 8:30 p.m. I released a story that I had confirmed that there was definitely mutual interest from both Malzahn and Arkansas State in the head coaching job.
I can't tell you how many people emailed me asking me if I was crazy. Other people in the business, questioned me and my sources stating sources of their own saying that there was no way Gus Malzahn was even interested in the position.
Around 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon Malzahn sightings started being reported. Instead of driving around the campus all afternoon I decided to work the phones to see if anyone had seen him. I sure wasn't going to go stalk and hide outside Dr. Dean Lee's office. If you haven't ever seen me in person I'm a very big guy, I don't hide very well, so that was out of the question.
Around 3:30 p.m. I got several text saying that Malzahn was meeting with Dr. Lee and things were close to being done.
This is where things get interesting.
I received several text stating it was close to being a done deal. I called several key sources and I kept getting different answers. I called our Scout.com Auburn guy and went back up to the football office and found Malzahn drawing practice cards. Apparently he never made it to Jonesboro that day. The Tigers got through practicing at 11:30 and Malzahn was present.
At 5:30 I got a call and a confirmation that it was a done deal from people that should know what was going on.
I wanted to post it as breaking news, but I'm glad I remembered my Fox Sports bosses always saying to get two separate sources confirming the same thing. Thirty minutes after that, I get a call from Auburn and the writer has spoken to Malzahn and he didn't show any interest in the job. A couple of other people were tweeting it was a done deal I was more confused than ever. I get a call right before I was going to post it stating that he hasn't signed the deal and while it was close, it definitely wasn't a done deal.
I kept working the phones and finally get the call around 8:40 p.m. that the contract had been signed and that Gus Malzahn was Arkansas State's next head football coach.
I then posted on Twitter and Facebook that it was official, the contract was signed.
Apparently it was close to being done at 5:30, ASU President Chuck Welch confirmed today that the contract was signed at 8:30, and that we reported it the right way.
I told one of my bosses I would rather being last and right on it instead of being first and wrong. Credibility and integrity is all you have in this business.
AStateNation got a lot of credit from multiple national writers, my Twitter followers increased by 400 in one night a lone.
No one believed my first story when I said there was mutual interest in both parties.
Guess what I didn't believe it either at first.
We had discussed a list of five candidates Monday on AStateNation Sports Radio and we listed a top three. Gus Malzahn name wasn't mentioned.
That shows how this coaching search went down, it shows you why this hire is go great. No one thought Arkansas State could pull this one off, and yes I admit my list was wrong.
It's a great day to be a Red Wolf and it's a great day to have Gus Malzahn as our next head football coach.