Funny what happens when someone mentions the word "dream job" and another school in the same breath the week of a conference championship. Just a day before Auburn takes on Missouri in the SEC title game, athletic director Jay Jacobs announced a six-year extension for coach Gus Malzahn.
The new contract makes Malzahn's base salary $3.85 million next year, with it escalating by $250,000 each year until the final year in 2019 in which he'll be making $5.1 million. The former Auburn assistant and Arkansas State head coach was hired Dec. 4, 2012. Former coach Gene Chizik was fired after a 3-9 season, and Malzahn turned the Tigers around, going 11-1 in the regular season, including the miracle 34-28 Iron Bowl finish Nov. 30.
From the school's official release:
"As I've said before, we want Coach Malzahn to be at Auburn for a long time," Jacobs said. "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."
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.The commitment Jacobs is showing to Malzahn should go far in the Auburn coach's mind. And with Alabama's Nick Saban likely receiving another extension of his own, there's the chance for more memorable Iron Bowl finishes for years to come.