Gus Malzahn has made it clear from day one after being named the Head Coach of Arkansas State, this bowl game belongs to the former staff and he will do his best to allow them to play the Go Daddy.com Bowl with out interference from him.
Malzahn took an opportunity here in Mobile Saturday evening to address the media in a called press conference allowing the new head coach to address a few situations.
Malzahn praised interim head coach David Gunn for his leadership and character and explained that the team is in great hands.
"This team is in great hands," Malzahn said. "I have known David for a lot of years, he recruited my high schools and I then gained a great relationship and respect for him. He is a great leader and a great man of character."
Malzahn explained that he has taken a hands off approach for the Go Daddy.com Bowl preparation.
"These are the guys that got this team here," Malzahn said. "They deserve to coach these guys, to keep the same system."
Malzahn admitted that this was the first time in six years that he is actually going to get to watch a Bowl game as a fan instead of having to coach the game.
"It will be nice to watch it and get to root them on," Malzahn said. "I haven't been able to do that for sometime. It will be different, but it will be good."
Malzahn made one point clear during his press conference.
When the game clock Sunday evening ends in zeros, this will completely become his team.
"I'm hoping that I will get the opportunity to go into that locker room after the game and get to congratulate them on a big win," Malzahn said. "When that clock hits zeros that's when I will officially take over as the head coach. I will address the team afterwards and then we will begin to move forward, I will schedule meetings with them in the coming days and we will hit this thing full speed."
Malzahn explained that he has had his own bowl game at Auburn that he had to prepare for and felt it was the right thing to do for a lot of reasons.
"It was definitely the right thing to do for the players," Malzahn said. "Coach Chizik wanted me to coach the game and it was a honor to do so."
Arkansas State University definitely benefited from Malzahn's offensive showing. When asked about the advantages in recruiting by being on national television and Auburn's great offensive display, the new Red Wolves Head Coach agreed.
"Oh definitely I feel it was great for Arkansas State," Malzahn said. "Anytime you get to display your game and your offensive system in front of a national television audience, it definitely helps in recruiting and to show everyone what our program is going to be about at ASU."
Arkansas State University was mentioned at least four to five times during the ESPN broadcast of Auburn's game, talking about Malzahn returning home to Arkansas to take over as Head Coach of ASU.
"The national attention we have been getting has been tremendous," Malzahn said. "The responses from our recruits have been unbelievable. We have people calling us wanting to be a part of this program. Exciting times are ahead for Arkansas State."
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