Malzahn to Coach the Tigers In Bowl Game

Comments from Auburn head coach Gene Chizik are featured concerning Gus Malzahn leaving for a head coaching job.

Auburn, Ala.--Auburn offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Gus Malzahn will coach Auburn in the bowl game while making the transition to his new job as head coach at Arkansas State.

Malzahn will be announced as the new head coach at Arkansas State University at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday. He is replacing Hugh Freeze, the new head coach at Ole Miss.

"We look forward to having Gus stay with us through the bowl game and hope to send him out with a victory," Chizik said on Wednesday.

Auburn will play Virginia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve.

"I'm very happy for Gus and the opportunity that awaits him at Arkansas State," Chizik said.

"Gus has always had the strong desire to become a head coach and the chance for him to return to his home state, that he is so familiar with, will be very beneficial," said Chizik, who is now searching for a new offensive coordinator in addition to looking for a new defensive coordinator to replace Ted Roof.

Gus Malzahn (left) and Ted Roof are shown at an Auburn practice.

Chizik is serving as the interim defensive coordinator in bowl preparations and also coaching linebackers.

"He's meant a tremendous amount to our program the past three years, helping our offense and our program achieve unprecedented heights, winning a BCS National Championship and setting countless offensive records," Chizik said. "Gus has experienced success in each stop of his coaching career and I have no doubt that he will have similar results at Arkansas State."

Malzahn is expected to receive a compensation package in the $800,000 per year range, approximately four times the salary the Red Wolves paid to former head coach Freeze.

A highly successful coach in the high school ranks in the state of Arkansas, the Fort Smith native began his collegiate coaching career as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Arkansas in 2006. He moved to Tulsa for two seasons as offensive coordinator before joining Chizik's new staff for the 2009-2011 seasons.

Malzahn is the first member of Chizik's Auburn staff to land a head coaching job in the college ranks.

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