Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has agreed to a six-year contract extension, the school announced late Friday. Malzahn will be paid a base salary of $3.85 million in 2014, and he will receive an annual pay raise of $250,000 each year of the contract. If he sticks around for its entirety, Malzahn will make $5.1 million in the final year of the deal.
"As I've said before, we want Coach Malzahn to be at Auburn for a long time," Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs said in a statement. "The new contract includes a raise and extension and is our statement that Auburn is committed to Coach Malzahn for the long haul. While this season has been remarkable, I'm equally excited about the future of our program under his leadership. The future of Auburn football is very bright. I couldn't be more pleased with our student-athletes and our coach."
Malzahn will be the SEC's sixth-highest paid coach in 2014, moving up from No. 11 in 2013. The announcement of his new deal comes 1 year and 2 days after Malzahn was officially hired to take over the program at Auburn. He's turned the Tigers around from 3-9 to 11-1 with a berth in the SEC Championship Game, so the commitment from the school has been well earned.
The extension puts to bed any rumors that were floating around linking Malzahn to the Texas Longhorns. On Tuesday, Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel filed a column featuring anonymous sources who claimed knowledge of Texas being the coach's "dream job."
There's an expectation that the Texas job will open in the next few weeks. According to a source, Malzahn has told friends privately that coaching the Longhorns is his dream job. If confronted with the choice between Auburn and Austin, it's a no-brainer move for Malzahn to bolt. The best job in the Big 12 is a much more stable place than The Plains, as even a play-caller of Malzahn's acumen isn't likely to make adjustments to historical trends.
History tells us that Auburn coaches -- no matter how successful -- don't have long and stable professional careers. Just ask Terry Bowden, who started 11-0 in 1993. Or Tommy Tuberville, who went 13-0 in 2004 after a failed coup to hire Bobby Petrino. Or Gene Chizik, who got fired two seasons after going 14-0 and winning the national title.
If Thamel's reporting is accurate, Friday's news means Malzahn didn't even wait to see if his "dream job" would open up this offseason. And he apparently isn't too concerned about Auburn's recent history with head football coaches.
"Jay made a good recommendation, and I support it," university president Jay Gogue said in the statement. "A lot of programs would love to have Coach Malzahn, so this is a good move that allows him to continue taking Auburn football where our fans want it. I've consulted with the president pro tem of the Auburn Board, and he let me know that he supports it as well."