Malzahn Discusses Honoring Lutzenkirchen

Auburn Coach Gus Malzahn talks about Philip Lutzenkirchen and the possibility of honoring him.

Hoover, Ala.--Gus Malzahn admitted that he had a special relationship with tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen because of their history on the recruiting trail and while at Auburn. That’s why the last few weeks have been a difficult time for the coach and the Auburn family alike.

One of the most popular Auburn players in the last decade, Lutzenkirchen’s memorial two weeks ago brought out thousands to Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga. and Malzahn said the reason why is because of the type of player and person he was.

“The big thing for me is Philip,” Malzahn said. “We lost an outstanding person with a great family. He was the first player I recruited as an Auburn coach. I got extremely close to him off the field. He's one of the better players ever to put on an Auburn jersey. It was tragic. Anytime you lose somebody like that, especially with him being young, it's a very tough pill to swallow.”

In addition to his popularity with the fans, Lutzenkirchen was also a very well-respected player by current and former Auburn players. Because of that there is a good chance the Tigers will honor him in some way this season. How that will be done is still in question, but Malzahn said there is no question he’ll be remembered and remembered for a long time.

“Well, myself and our athletic director, Jay Jacobs, the Lutzenkirchen family, are working through that,” Malzahn said. “There will be definitely something to honor Philip. Philip, that was an extremely tough thing. He was a great person. He was the very first player I ever recruited as an Auburn coach. Got a great family.

“He's very unique. His teammates loved him. He was a true Auburn man. He was a great player, too. One of the better players to ever put on an Auburn uniform. Just had that ability to play his best in the biggest games. He had the 'it' factor. So that was definitely a tough blow to the Auburn family. But he'll definitely be remembered and we'll do some things to honor him for a long time to come.”

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