Gus Malzahn took Auburn
from a winless SEC season in 2012 to a conference championship in '13. (David E. Klutho/SI)
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn will be named the Home Depot Coach of the Year after leading the Tigers to the BCS Championship Game in his first season, ESPN announced Wednesday.
Auburn's 59-42 victory over Missouri last Saturday made Malzahn the only first-year coach to win an SEC Championship Game. His Tigers are 12-1, are ranked No. 2 in the BCS and will face No. 1 Florida State in the BCS title game in Pasadena on Jan. 6.
In 2012 Auburn stumbled to a record of 3-9, and the Tigers were 0-8 in the SEC. Their poor performance led to the firing of coach Gene Chizik. To replace him, Auburn brought in Malzahn, who had been the Tigers' offensive coordinator under Chizik from 2009 to '11. When Auburn won the national championship in '10, Malzahn won the Frank Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant coach.
He left Auburn to become the head coach at Arkansas State in 2012. In his only season in Jonesboro, he led the Red Wolves to a Sun Belt Conference title.
Malzahn will receive the Coach of the Year honor at the Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, Dec. 12. It will be televised at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.