Jacobs: Sweeter Contract Coming For Malzahn

Athletic Director Jay Jacobs said that Gus Malzahn will be getting a new deal as a reward for his outstanding performance as Auburn's head football coach.

Auburn, Ala.--Jay Jacobs said that Auburn's national coach of the year candidate, Gus Malzahn, will be well rewarded with a new contract for the success he has had in leading the Tigers to the biggest turnaround season in Auburn football history.

"The president and the board of trustees made it clear that we want to get a new deal and one that is secure for Gus and good for Auburn," said Jacobs, Auburn's director of athletics. "I think everything will be on the table."

Jacobs said that Malzahn is locked in on Saturday's SEC Football Championship Game vs. Missouri and isn't interested in anything else this week.

"I will leave that to him," Jacobs said on when he will get with the coach to discuss a new contract. "I will probably ask him next week what he wants to do. He is so focused on one thing to the next.

"We will sit down as soon as he is ready to sit down," said Jacobs, who has watched the Tigers develop into one of the most exciting teams in college football this season.

Auburn agreed to pay Malzahn's $700,000 buyout from Arkansas State if he agreed to stay five years in his new job at Auburn. That was set up in the form of a loan that AU will pay off 20 percent annually to sweeten a contract that pays the coach $2.3 million a year plus performance bonuses of up to $1.5 million for athletic and academic success on his team. His base salary is $500,000 per year.

Jacobs said he is unconcerned about a rumor that Malzahn could be a candidate to be head coach at Texas, where Mack Brown is the current coach and where Alabama coach Nick Saban has been discussed as a possible replacement for Brown.

Jay Jacobs

"As far as I know Texas still has a coach," Jacobs said. "We want Gus to be here as long as he wants to be here. We're going to have a deal that is right for him and good for Auburn.

"What he has done this year is nothing short of miraculous," Jacobs said of the team's turnaround from 3-9 (0-8 SEC) to 11-1 (7-1 SEC). If the Tigers win their final two games it will compete the biggest season-to-season turnaround in college football history.

"He's a great football coach and ambassador," Jacobs said. "These players think the world of him because they trust him. His words and his deeds match up. He is the right guy for our program and whenever he is ready to sit down we will make sure that happens."

Jacobs noted that he didn't give much credence to talk about Malzahn being interested in the Texas job and said he expected the coach's name to be mentioned as a hot coaching candidate as the Tigers began piling up victories. "I think that's the way this works," Jacobs said. "People start talking about the popular guys and their wish lists. I think that's all just part of what we do every day. You don't give it a lot of credit. We've been through a lot of that.

"Sometimes a lot of reports get printed that don't have any truth to them at all because they get printed people think they are 100 percent true," Jacobs added. "Any time something like that comes up you do pay attention to it, but as I said the University of Texas has a head coach and I believe they have a game Saturday as well. You're aware of it, but you don't overreact to anything. We're going to do what's right for Gus."

Malzahn addresses the Auburn team for the first time after being named head coach on Dec. 4th, 2012.

Asked if he expected to be re-working Malzahn's deal just 12 months after introducing him as Auburn's new head coach, Jacobs smiled and said, "You always hope to be."

The athletic director pointed out that with perhaps the exception of the players, nobody expected the Tigers to be playing in the SEC Championship Game this year and added, "Particularly coming out of a spring when you didn't know who the starting quarterback was going to be and a team that had finished 3-9, and the confidence and the where these guys are from a competitive standpoint.

"That's why he should be national coach of the year," Jacobs added. "All of the guys that are up for national coach of the year have had winning seasons, but what he's done with this group that was a lot of broken pieces and he's pulled them together and given them the confidence and the trust to buy into the system. That is a remarkable coaching job.

"Not only him, but his nine assistants," the athletic director said. "They mean what they say and they say what they mean. The guys trust them and they have bought into it. To me that is where the real coaching comes in. We know that he is a genius at X's and O's. What sometimes gets lost is his relationship with these guys.

"He asks these guys at halftime, ‘hey, what do you see out there?' He calls them into his office and ask them ‘what do you feel about this?' His relationship with the players is what is making a real big difference. The successful teams I had a chance to play on, it was all about the relationship with the coach. I believe what Gus has done, again repeating myself, has been remarkable."

Inside The AU Tigers Top Stories